Queenie won’t be needing no milk...
not this morning; eight pints
still on the step. The milkman
raised the alarm. It only took him
so many days.
One of them god-awful ‘tower blocks’,
south of the Thames . Should have
torn it down, started again, years ago,
but folk need somewhere to live.
A loner she was – since her old man
died; a massive stroke, ten months since.
And then there was her son – a sapper
with the Royal Engineers.
The proverbial ‘Mummy’s boy’
when he came home on leave, at least.
He’d never married. Loved her too much,
what he always said.
‘Lung cancer’, his death certificate said.
Not one mention of ‘Gulf War Syndrome’.
It don’t exist, so say the MOD, but she
swore blind that’s what took him.
Didn’t get out much – walked with a stick.
Arthritis gave her gyp most of the time,
but she had the telly, and there was her cat.
She weren’t really meant to have one
but the Council turned a blind eye.
No one ever called, bar the rent-man...
until that afternoon...a week last Wednesday;
a knock on the door. Two geysers saying
they were from the Gas Board; not that she
thought to ask for no ID...
Nothing...just let them in; glad of someone
to talk to. “Read your meter, love? Nice place
you got here.” Even gave them a cup of tea;
her best bone china, would you believe?
And by way of a ‘thank you’, they tied her
to a chair – broke her heart. Made off
with all she had in the world...her old TV
and a biscuit tin where she’d keep
her pin-money and pension. If only
walls could talk.