Old City Market, Shanghai

The awnings and umbrellas
line a too-narrow street,
shoppers rushing both ways
their bags, frowns, and sandals
de rigeur here.
Sound of tinkling bells
as bikes run into walkers.
Smell of fish and vegetables.
Four plastic tubs
splash frenzily in fear.
No one sees a fish
escape the red one
except the stall owner,
cigarette in mouth,
who nonchalantly
throws it back
to destiny.
Out of nowhere
a golden lab appears
to sniff the tubs
before gliding on
alone, unnoticed.

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