Streetsweep – a poem

Posted: May 22, 2012 in Depression, London, Poem, Poetry, Urban
Tags: , , ,

Streetsweep

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The First Day of Summer, real summer, happy summer: sweat in the eyebrows and squelch of dirty flip-flops dug out from the back of wardrobes unseen since autumn. The street rejoices as one, exhaust-pipe belches mingling with body odours and kebab juice.

 Happy sidewalk summer: To the black boys kissing their teeth on the street not knowing why: wailing at ATM’s as they put their card in again and again like toddlers trying to understand the square block can’t go into the circular hole, whilst behind them a line slowly forms, impatient and pitying in equal measure.

 To the new mums attacking ankles with taxi-sized buggies, too self-absorbed by their precious fare to see beyond the front wheels.

 To the dustbin-Daleks shuffling in their burkhas, welcoming in the fresh season with their new fashion range, black is the new black, is the new black. Pillar-boxed and pilloried yet taking a perverse satisfaction from their self-imposed exclusion from society as flies in the ointment.

 To the mentally ill tramps lurching past them at the edge of the curb and sanity, nothing but warm spittle washing around the bottom of their empty cans, pockets rattling with pennies and forgotten medication.

 To the unemployed new media ‘freelancers’ draped over their coffee-tables begging to be admired, blocking the pavement with chrome chairs, chrome glasses, chrome laptops, the sun bouncing brightly off their sweaty foreheads as they stare forlornly at empty screens and diaries. Desperately preening in the shop window and to any passer-by who may give validation to their peacock dreams, offsetting their nervous and fragile aspirational egos.

 To you all who fill my first day of summer with a deep and predictable joy. Tomorrow, rain is forecast and you will all be swept away back behind your closed doors, watching, waiting for a break in the clouds.

But I will still be here, pounding the streets and sweeping up your messes and near-misses, I am always here…

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