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Cautionary Tale or Dead Time by Pat Cammish

Arts Richmond

Online - 02 November 2020

Cautionary Tale or Dead Time by Pat Cammish

Cautionary Tale or Dead Time

Don't embark
just for a lark-
on a house extension.
Kitchen remake-
total mistake
when you're on a pension.
Put your neck on the line,
expect dead time,
when the builders move in.

If, what you've planned,
will cost fifty grand,
that'll be only for starters.
“A house this old-
problems untold...
caused by other cowboys.”

Teeth are sucked
and heads are shook.
“You never know what's in there.

Can't say how long-
we might be wrong-
that's not fair to you.

It'll take a while
with a Victorian pile
like yours, you must agree.
Our estimate,
our daily rate,
is just a guide, you see.”

And then they start
to pull it apart.
At first you're fairly hopeful.
Walls swept away-
all gone today-
sadly - not here tomorrow.
Alien sound
echoes around-
the newly hollowed spaces.

The builders just
spread concrete dust-
and filth around the house.
The weeks stretch out,
we hang about,
to watch just what they're doing.
Radios blare
through murky air
to give a sense of action.

Another skip
off to the tip?
Is there no end to the rubbish?.
Tea break for you?
Sugars two,
three if you can manage.

To keep them sweet.
They have you in their power.

Un-plumb the sink-
nothing to drink-
just water through the ceiling.
“These bricks are wrong.
They're far too long-
and they're the wrong colour.
Concrete's late.
Sit and wait.
Have another cuppa
.”

This windows stuck
I'll take a look
and sort it out pronto!
Just a shove!
Oops! I'll mend that love-
Although it wasn't broken.
Can't come today
Is what they say-
when you really need them.

Where's the Spark?
Gone to the park -
on childcare duty all day.
Life on hold.
Stress untold.
Dead time, no existence.

      by Pat Camish

 


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