The Job In Albion Road
Its obvious the guy lives here alone:
the fish hook tupperwares, the radiators
covered in clothes; the photo by the phone
of kids who now consider him a traitor.
Unknown to them inside his rented flat
theres not much left of what he had before
not packed away in cardboard boxes; tat,
no longer needed, that he pays to store.
And all the time Im here, I know it could
be me. Its really not that far away,
like his divorc
e from the neighbourhood;
one flirty smile, some other place, or day,
and Id be goosed, like him. Dirty plates
and glasses in the sink. No cash. The park
avoided when the schools are out; out late
to other beds, or staring at the dark,
not knowing how the days went by, the years,
to spend them here disloyally inside
a little box with maintenance arrears,
in places children never laughed or cried.

Unknown to him my mistress is discreet,
and loyal. True, for now. A fact of life
Id rather not have anybody meet:
To her I am unfaithful, with my wife.
Shes there when I wake up and when I lie,
and helps me with the boxes to the van,
reminds me of the bill, to say goodbye.
Perhaps one day shell find a better man,
and like a proper muse  give up the goods,
and fuck his brains out when my back is turned,
in one of these suburban neighbourhoods
like barracks for the lonely and the burned. 

David Condell

If you have any comments on this poem,  David Condell would be pleased to hear from you.