Victor Silverspoon-Pinke thinks my three rooms
would be far too mean to fit his needs.
His kitchen could swallow my entire space,
yet still he complains;
I need new units, my carpet is wearing thin, this neighbourhood is becoming too dingy for my liking. Why can’t my life be tailored to my requirements? Am I not deserving? My stocks started sinking the day that I paid for the landscaping, and now my top-of-the-range coffee machine has gone to meet its maker. It would be cheaper to replace it online, but I can’t wait for days, so I’ll have to sacrifice an extra sixty and drive it away.
Watching from my window,
I see the nameless stranger whose many faces we all know,
as she crosses the road, trudging toward her concrete bed.
Toting tattered ‘bags for life’ – only ten pence each from Tesco
she totters on in stained and torn, oversize trainers.
Her knees ache, her heart has forgotten what it feels like to be full,
but her eyes are dry;
she gave up any expectation that her life would ever
be tailored to her requirements
the day the debtors took her home away.
The streets offer no relief from the sniping chill,
bones freeze and stay frozen, until
you learn to survive
by evading the pain of sobriety.
So who are we to criticise and blame?
If such misfortune snatched us up,
we may do the same.
The nameless stranger’s smudged frame is engulfed
by a fringe of leafy trees,
swallowed like a guilty secret.
I rise from my seat, walk the short space from room one to room two,
brew a cup of tea to sweeten my thoughts,
but fail to shake a lonely image from my mind,
as somewhere beyond my sight,
the nameless woman shuffles on,
into the brief obscurity of gritty sleep.
Tomorrow I will wake in room three,
stretch languidly and lie awhile in peace,
saunter to room two, prepare my favourite breakfast,
step into room one and savour it,
shamefully faced away from the street, lest I should see
something too disturbing
for so early in the day,
Victor Silverspoon-Pinke will rise dissatisfied with his mass-produced life, irritated by the instructions that came with his sleek new coffee machine, added to which, it makes his six year old, bespoke oak cabinets look yet more inappropriate for his distinguished name and his expectations high. He’ll dread the moment when he checks the price of his shares. Frowning at the framed vista of his freshly sculpted acres he’ll complain that the contrived landscape leaves something to be desired,
and the nameless woman will have risen at daybreak,
silently packed up her bedding and trailed away,
head cast down, scanning the sodden ground,
searching for small change.
The Daily post #Tailor
©Jane Paterson Basil