For many years now I live alone
in a tiny single room by the canal.
I have no photographs on the walls
there are no books on the shelves
and the wireless broke many ago.
I feel nothing, I need nothing, I want nothing.
I do not read the papers and hardly watch TV.
Each Friday I go out to buy groceries.
I make polite conversation with the
shop assistants and my doctor thinks
this is good for me. But I always rush back
to the safety of my silent room
with the faded old pattern on its walls.
Once in a while I travel to the shop
in Charlotte Street to buy flowers — lilies —
but she is never there and I'm always upset.
My doctor thinks this is bad for me
even though this is the only time I feel alive.
Like most other days, today I'm sitting
at the window staring through the grimy
glass at the little boats on the water.
It's late in the afternoon, the end of summer
and the days are now much shorter.
The street is dark and nearly empty.
I stare at the young girl