David Lewis Paget
The Share - Poem by David Lewis Paget
The flats were old and the rooms were cold
But I didn’t have much choice,
I hadn’t the money for anything else
Since the spat I had with Joyce,
I’d walked the streets for almost a day
Just to find a place to stay,
When I finally found a flat to rent
The building was old and grey.
Dust was grimed on the windowsill
And mud was tramped in the hall,
Whatever was left of the carpet there
You just couldn’t see at all,
The caretaker in the bottom flat
Handed out the do’s and don’ts,
The rent on time on the topmost line,
Ahead of the wills and won’ts.
I didn’t know it was partly share
Till I’d paid, and taken the key,
Until I entered the bathroom there
And found there was more than me.
A woman sat there, painting her nails
Come in from the flat next door,
Said, ‘You’re my share? ’ as she patted her hair,
‘You’d better prepare, there’s more.’
We not only shared the bathroom there
But the key to the only Loo,
There was only a single kitchen there
And it looked like we shared that too,
I wasn’t impressed, was more than depressed
And I kept on thinking of Joyce,
How could I sink so low, I thought,
But she didn’t give me a choice.
I lay in bed the following morn,
Lay in till a quarter-past two,
Why should I get up early when
There was nothing I had to do.
I thought I’d cook me a rasher or two,
Some eggs, and a slice of bread,
Till I walked out into the kitchen, then
And into a land of dread.
There were bats hung over the fireplace,
And a great big pot on the hob,
And something thin that had just been skinned
Lay over an iron knob.
There were piles of bones on the platter board
And some fingers left on a plate,
Their rings were on but the hand was gone,
Off to a dismal fate.
I whirled about in despair, in case
Someone was stalking me,
And checked the grate of the fireplace
Where the ashes glowed redly,
The pot was bubbling on the hob
And some things that looked like ears,
Kept bobbing up to the surface
Like some headless bombardiers.
I spun away to the kitchen sink
And I gazed into its depths,
Peered on in with a single blink
And I fought to keep my breath,
For staring up was a grinning skull
As the girl I saw last night,
Came leaping in like a beast of sin
And I lost my appetite.
‘It isn’t what you might think, ’ she said,
‘I should have warned you, right!
We use this room for the local Rep
To rehearse their play tonight.
I set it up for the witches scene,
It’s only a plastic skull,
And plastic bats and toy skinned-cats,
Want to eat? ’ I said ‘I’m full! ’
29 November 2015
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