Poem No. 3
This morning, the senile next-door flat puts down her laundry
at my feet as I lock my door: "You off? Catching the next bath-tub
to town at 9 past, right?" I nod and step across her basket, rushed
with a taxi waiting. The 12th-floor trade unionist blocks my way
by the mail boxes, amazed as I fish out a pink Financial Times
followed by the hammer and sickle of The Class Struggle. "Wide range,"
he mocks, then wants to know what's up today. "Police job", I say, poised
on one leg as the taxi driver opens his door to look for me. I sidestep
in a practised way. 9th floor baby in push-chair waves, grins and beats me
to the door. It slams in my face, the lift whirrs and bump-stops. I dare not
look to see who's there. By now, the taxi driver's met a colleague, veteran
Citroen owner, 5th floor, fond of speaking French. "Au revoir," he slams
us shut. "A son of mine used to live here." The driver sighs. "Can't think why
he ever moved. Nice bit of green lawn. Very friendly neighbours." I agree.
Everybody's Talkin' At Me