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The Going


The folk selling taters and onions and lettuce
Are asking, ~where have they gone?
The students who used to live over the shop,
The ones that have been there so long.
You know the place where the door's piled with rubbish
And screams can be heard after dark,
And where you can catch a glipse in the morning
Of the prettiest girls who leaving with the dawning,
And look like they're off to the park".

"'ave they all vanished", the barrow boys wonder,
"I'm sorry to see 'vem gone.
Remember the fun we had pairing them off
And always gettin' it wrong.
They used to hold parties till late at night,
An' over the road 'vey'd complain.
When Exams were approaching you'd not 'ear a sound,
You'd hardly know those lads were around,
'cept the lights were all on just the same".

And now here I sit on a dusty stair
Gazing dreamily into an empty room,
And through the chipped banister rail I see
A mouse nip by in the gloom.
It's off to corner where the garbage box sits
Overflowing around its edge.
And outside the window with broken sashes
Is a batch rub floating f*gs and matches
Obliviously tossed from the window's ledge.

Above me the brickwork is sinking and cracking,
And paper peels back from the walls.
To mark the last party and evenings vibrations
A dribble of plaster falls.
Outside the garden is not lined with trees
Or beautiful walks and passes,
But there thrown at random
In reckless abandon
Is a rockery of bottles and glasses.

If the spirit of 89a Tower Bridge Road
Could tell you all that she knew
Of the guys and girls who lived within
And the years that she'd been through.
And if you could hear the lonely click
Of the switch in that empty room
In our back street home in Bermondsey
Now hidden in mists of memory
You too might be filled with gloom.
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Submitted on October 15, 2013

1:41 min read

Neil McLeod Claim this poet

Born in Oxford, raised in Kenya, past winner of Los Slamgeles Poetry Slam and author of abitingchance.blogspot.comand "The First Thanksgiving".Doctor McLeod is a performing poet who has recited at Highland Games, dinners and Burns Nights for the last 36 years. He is happily married, lives and works in Los Angeles,has three children, and practices as a dentist on Sunset Boulevard:http://www.drneilmcleod.com/He can be contacted by e-mail at drneilmcleod@yahoo.com and will willingly entertain requests to share his work with permission. more…

All Neil McLeod poems | Neil McLeod Books

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    "The Going" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 3 Aug. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/86825/the-going>.

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