Can'T Breathe - Poem by Ruth Walters
They stifle me,
those tall, tenement buildings
with their walkways enticing crime,
luring thugs with knives
to wander up, unhindered,
along stone staircases that lead to
institutionalised front doors
of greens or dull blues.
Don't go inside,
don't look behind those doors
where kitchens overflow
with last nights cups and plates
and bits of stew and fag ash.
Where carpets stick to shoes
and cigarette butts lie, dead,
along the dust ridden edges.
There are no excuses,
who can we blame, who?
Not the council workers, no.
Not the occupants,
they're deprived, they're needy.
Not the rich or middle classes,
they off load the blame
but I can't breathe, I can't breathe.
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