Young wife at the corner
of years and Robe Street -
go-go dancer free of her cage
who once worked with ...
she'd be lucky to be twenty
and the mini-skirt shows
her gams off well.
Daylight. Workers at work,
schoolkids at school. So
who's this guy in a Merc
who leans out his window
to ask, What time you start,
love? She is caught on
the backfoot of reverie
and blurts out, Nine, nine o'clock.
Okay love, he says, I'll be back.
She stops and stares at his car as it
drives off, image suddenly
interruped by Luna Park eyes
and snarling mouth, a woman yelling,
Get off my corner, bitch! Ya hear?
This is my patch, not yours!
Fuck off, bitch, n' dun come back.
Go-Go squeaks out, What?
The ugly face leans in until the wind
blows her hair against the young wife's face,
Fuck off, ya mole. This is MY corner.
And takes off, walking like
her pants are on fire. Go-Go
stands and breathes deeply,
milk and bread anchors to
normality. She coughs a small cough
and walks on, head down,
to number 47, a flat in the back
where her husband will be stirring
on the mattress on the floor,
waking from nightshift at
the Police Academy where he cleans
black boot polish stains off
shiny wax linoleum floors.
It is like the wrong pieces fell
into her jigsaw - their own place
at last, and now this.
(First draft, written as a snap poem for Poetryetc this day, partially built on memory.)