The Giants of Barcelona
They floated around the corner,
heads level with the first floor window sills.
People waved at their painted eyes.
A frantic band led them into the square,
all trumpets and drums. The crowd
flooded across the cathedral steps.
Their crowns were immense, their scarves
had huge folds. We were tourists
ambushed by this towering couple,
calmness and courtesy a storey high.
With a slight lean, they bowed.
They began their slow swirling dance.
We never discovered their names.
Living in the low-ceilinged room
of our new life, we spoke to almost no-one
in that maze of streets. But we knew,
looking up at those big faces,
how good it was to be dwarfed by them.
Something in our human smallness woke.
Propped in a doorway, we half embraced,
half leaned against each other.
When they moved off, they left us
with the backwash of their serenity.
We made our way through the festival,
the wake of those vast figures
eddying around us. The night breeze
was the wind from their robes.