Every day, rope in hand, I
Open the door.
First thing, the soft smell of flowers
And new greening.
Second thing, the birds
Cooing, calling, tussling,
Floating, blasting like torpedoes
Over treetops, above the flats.
Third thing, breathe in
Cool in the morning, and no sound
But swish of rope and slap of feet.
Step step step
At eight thirty
The man from Number Seven comes
Newspaper under his arm and
Fog of cigarette smoke over
In an ancient oiled jacket
“Good morning, y’all right?”
“As well as can be”
“You’re making progress, girl”
“Well – we have to stop meeting this way”
Every day, I hold out hope that
I’ll see him tomorrow walking
Share thirty seconds of Cockney greetings,
Keep him alive.