Unshaven gaiteiros in traditional costume— black waistcoats, white shirts, black breeches,
flaccid bagpipes over their shoulders,
talking among themselves in the minority language—
like deserters who’ve walked a long way.
White puttee bandages below their knees,
black knee-breeches—like the battles drummers
from a forgotten peninsular war
falling behind among the prostitutes
and their children, the stumbling camp followers.