The homeless woman in the homeless women’s line
Always gave me the time to take my change with her sweet smile
The drunken Gypsy begging for a coin
Pointing at my bulging belly when I said that I had none,
As if my rotundness was my wealth
Any man who can build a belly must have money too.
Miklós shouting at me from two floors below
Never sober always drunk then never more
My reflection if I made my life that choice
His face remains but time has lost his voice.
The Jewish centenarians living right next door
TV blaring into the evening
To compensate a faded hearing
But deaf and drunk next door with my guitar
Their apologies unnecessary
Mine greeted with such gentle smiles.
The flower lady made her garden just downstairs
Smiling up at me in all my states
But my brother never felt but focused evil eye
Why me? he’d ask Not you?
I had no answer not that any could ever do
She was the flower lady with the changing mood
To turn her into an angel would do no good.
The courtyard queen sitting watching all
The kindest watchdog I have ever met
The Gypsy family scaring her away till they did leave again and she did stay
The skinhead bar the gauntlet to be run
On Friday nights the kicks would fly but wined up it mattered none
Except to the poor soul coming against me in the haze
No drink bravado to help him along his way
Then turning left or going straight ahead
To wherever this night that night it led
To Tina Turner’s bar at Podmaniczky’s end
The crooked smiles and tilted tongues,
The cheating, daring, hours lost and friendships won
From every side of day no end in sight
A springboard, a pillow, a hunger, till night took flight
Rub a dub dub three men stumbling in
The bodyguard the soldier the chef
A slip on the ice brought the big fellow down
But the helping hand winning free drinks.
Up Pod’s North East the two hearts did beat
The young lady for beauty
The old lady for speech
In our lingo the bar eponymously called
The Old Lady’s Now lost
At Immeasurable cost.
Such news learnt through a bath time discussion
Such things lost with education, progression.
New generations forsaking old ones’ schemes
Themselves in search of future dreams.
The trainyard calling in the depths of night, the tunnel farther up connecting in a howl on the drunken bike
The loneliness on those dark nighttime feats
The memories reflecting on the wet cobbled streets…
© The Hairy Teacher, 2019.