From one of the high rise budget hotels
in Portimao we picked up a group
of six challenged men and their two minders.
(Portugal, our tour guide told us later,
was enabling those – institutionalised
since childhood for learning difficulties –
to take vacations, with supervision,
from the drab, echoing, noisome halls).
Two were remarkable: a gaunt fellow
bent permanently double, always moving,
keeping close to the other, a joker
with moustached Arabic looks and frightened eyes.