Poem for Judy Lam Maxwell by Alan Hill
It was Judy who took me through Chinatown on foot
shimmied me through the last remaining courtyard, into
the last remaining tailor shop .
He sat, aged 93, looking me over
measuring me up
possibly too generous in the being he quickly stitched of me.
Later, we worked a way across East Pender Street
between the sharpened needles of spring sunlight
splintering themselves skywards from the heavy traffic
up the spindly five flight spine of the Chin Wing Chun
to slip between a thinning weave of seniors
hunched over the clacking munitions of Mah-Jong
their tiles stretched in calligraphic curves across sunset red tables
the aging players bunched beneath the miniature
specimen display head shots of the long dead.
She stopped me on the balcony; there was nowhere else to go
In the street below we could see it:
the hipster coffee bars and condos moving in
the ironic bearded, tattooed new
the steady advancement of all that money
that has been so long needed – coming now, unstoppable
to bleach this whole place white, crush it
with its avalanche of cash.