Most of us live in boxes, in a line.
Shared walls bleed noise,
won’t hold a screw for the mirror
that shows a million tired faces.
There’s a cream-cracker yard
or a plastic pot for colour.
Meagre grass grows sour.
Or graffiti’d walkways skein
between flats where old folk
stay indoors after dark
and mothers cry
at their children’s choices.
Wring their hands at bad company and fear.
There’s a shabby row of maudlin shops
a cut-price supermarket and an offie.
A bus stops nearby, for a trip to the town
that frowns over its barnacle estates.
Most of us work at what we can.
In the black and the red.
Casual and quiet-
or through job-centre hoops,
that pin dignity to our sides with rules,
Most of us would love a little bit more.
For the girls wedding, school uniforms.
A night out with mates,
who play the same game.
While the twist in our gut, grows every day
of doing without and the only chance
is a lottery ticket that never comes up
but we hope. Always hope.
Most of us know wrong from right.
Can respect, respect.
Though we might blur the edges
but don’t big ourselves into crime
for a sharp reputation.
We mind our own business.
Persevere day after day
and we’ll stay right here. Forever.