Thursday, December 1, 2016

Robert Verdon, #374, The Odd Neighbour

What does she think, peeping out of her window,

at the sink of iniquity her suburb’s become?

I’d been here ten years, but the neighbours,

several were black and no doubt did drugs,

one rode a flash bicycle and the other had suspicious

garden plants, all serrated leaves and a heady scent,

does she think of calling the coppers, will they take

an eighty-year-old woman with cropped white hair

seriously anyway, laughing behind their strong hands

and sunglasses? What does it matter at her age shouldn’t

she be in a home, her home is her garden that she tends

and sits and greets friends in, even chats to the elderly

Fijian lady who privately she disparages to me

(‛might even get eaten’, you can only see ’em by moonlight),

then one day, the day Castro died, if my memory isn’t wavering,

I find she is planning to leave and move down the

coast near her daughter, a kind of Abbeyfield place with medical assistance,

because after all there is her heart and her two strokes (or is it three),

and once again I thought there but for the grace though she is much older than me

then I felt it might be for the best, you never know, for last night

there were shots from across the road apparently, my bedroom window cracked

for no good reason but they never found a bullet and I go back to reading

Facebook, remembering she left school at thirteen …


  1. The strong narrative makes a strong poem...

    Still I wonder what the Fijian lady said
    to her about you - then I wonder
    what they both said about me.

  2. So vivid! Real life is so compelling!


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