Most of Us by Miki Byrne

I am not a silent poet

Most of us live in boxes.

Shared walls bleed noise, won’t hold a screw

for the mirror that shows a million tired faces.

There’s a cream-cracker yard or a plastic pot

for colour.

Graffiti’d walkways skein between flats

where old folk stay indoors after dark

and mothers cry at children’s choices.

Bad company and fear.

There’s a shabby row of maudlin shops

a cut-price supermarket and an offie.

A bus stops nearby for a trip to the town

that frowns over its barnacle estates.

Most of us work, casual and quiet-or through

job-centre hoops, that pin dignity to our sides

offer rules, prising questions.

Most of us would love a little bit more.

For the girls wedding, school uniforms,

a night out with mates.

While the twist in our gut grows every day

of doing without and the only chance

is a lottery ticket that never comes up but we…

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