The pavement's cold and it's raining
It's a storm.
There's paint peeling off the walls and the ceiling
Layers of acrylic, yielding
Conceding after concealing, year after year
All the stains and the smears,
The badly done veneer
The lines of graffiti that keep repeating
The cracks in the concrete that keep receding
every summer but come grinning back in the winter months
Taunting and leering,
asking for that one coat of paint that would
eliminate the taint
of a poor man's inability
to fix his living space.
There's a lady in the house, and a baby.
The baby's catatonic and the lady
The poor man works through the nights and the mornings
just to eat.
"I'm home, honey," he says, full well knowing
That his wife's passed out by the couch.
No one greets him when he calls, no one answers but the walls.
Look! There's the spot that the coffee stained when the saucer went flying
And the crack where the clay mug shattered
And oh! That was where the month's money went,
Into the dents in the doors and cement
And there's the scar at the heart
of the art
that he bought for his dear
at the start of their marriage career
All she'd wanted was a beer.
So wouldn't it be queer
all the memories that his place
Had collected through the days
Like pieces meant to grace
the empty space that became
a collage of his fate?
After all, the only answer that he got when he called
Was from the peeling paint on the wall.