Tailored to fit



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

46 thoughts on “Tailored to fit

  1. The nameless are always around us, especially in the bigger cities of life. I’ve just recently moved from a small community of 3,000+ to a city of 100, 000+. The nameless are more visible. At first, I gave out of sympathy and shock of what I saw. Now I can’t anymore. It’s too overwhelming. Community governments need to step in to solve the problem of homelessness.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah! i have such a place, only by canadian law, the maid, (common law, only in canada)
        can stay there until she dies or moves..

        She was able to stop me because of the crazy law we have here in canada,

        i can’t even go into a place that i own,
        an grew-up learn to walk in…

        What a f_cked up country, i’m embarrassed, to call this my country…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jesus said, “the poor we will always have with us.” In 1964 the US government embarked on its War on Poverty. In the ensuing fifty plus years, after having spent trillions on that “war”, the number of poor in the US has increased while many of those administrating the “war” became wealthy. It looks like Jesus was right and that the best intentions will fall victim to human greed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s sad. We’ve seen it throughout history. Corruption and greed. Last night I dreamed I found a small plastic bag full of money on the floor of the shop. I told the shopkeeper, who whispered “Keep it”. A distraught woman came in searching the floor, and asked the shopkeeper if he’s seen a wallet. He said he hadn’t. I kept quiet, the money tightly held in my fist, trying to justify myself with the thought that I hadn’t found a wallet. After she left I felt terrible. I looked for her, but she’d gone. I woke up feeling terrible, asking myself; in different circumstances, in a different life, would I have kept the money?
      My lesson for today – and most days – is to try to be less judgemental.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Reminds me of the story about the little boy who found a purse that contained a one hundred dollar bill. He went to the address that he found inside the purse and handed it over to the lady who answered the door. She looked inside the purse and found 100 one dollar bills. She asked the boy why there were singles instead of the one bill and he replied,” the last time I found some money and returned it the lady didn’t have any change for a tip.”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The mind usually wants what it cannot get … that is desire. Mind makes a good servant and a poor master.

    As you write, “imagine spending your whole life striving for more of what you already have too much of”? … Maybe pointless? I believe so, too.

    Karma is what we accumulate throughout life. It has been said that when dying, the mind rushes to it’s desire? Karma will dictate what our next life lessons will be. Karma, dharma and maya. Leading to moksha.


    Cheers Jamie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the two links… especially the one about the ten dimensions. I’ve bookmarked it to show to my brother, an atheist who is fascinated by dimensions beyond the third. He takes it from a mathematical point of view, and believes they’re out there, and yet he finds the idea of a creator too huge for him to accept or contemplate.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “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…”

    Sigh… Jane, you are becoming such a fabulous storyteller…

    Liked by 1 person

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