The Unfinished Hotel

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.

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