After the Friday market on the wharf,
dark-eyed peasant women from the east
go down on their hands and knees
with knitting needles and bird-bill pliers,
gleaning the quayside, flossing between cobbles
for dropped coins, lost keys and the like.
Whatever they winkle out that isn’t currency
they sell as trinkets and charms,
spread them out on colorful headscarves and shawls
along pavements and walls.
A rough translation: “Things that fell
from the pockets of Christ.” Meaning hairpins,
buttons, a plastic spoon, a baby’s tooth,