in the shadow of the Acropolis
new sculpture somehow comes to life,
groups of men and women
busily clay their hands
then after a week they line results
along the pedestrian zone.
Each has a curious title:
people walk from one to the next
they have no choice really
these objects are unavoidable
they weigh them up then read below,
glance back baffled, move along.
All might have been fine but
the titles shed confusion not light.
No one trusts the sculptures now,
until a madman in a filthy coat
emerging into strong sun
fixes an olive branch
to an outstretched plaster hand.
John Short was born in Liverpool and lives there again after many years in France, Spain and Greece. His work has appeared in magazines like Barcelona Ink, Prole, Orbis, Algebra of Owls, Dream Catcher, Picaroon, Blue Nib and Envoi. His story collection The Private Unmentionable Gargoyle is available on Amazon under the pen name Hubert Tsarko.
“The Mistake” appeared in John Short’s pamphlet collection Unknown Territory which was published in June 2020 by Black Light Engine Room Press.