There’s a redhead in a one bed flat,
with a baby that sobs the blues,
his winter coat can’t stand up to the cold,
and the sirens don’t let him sleep at night.
“That’s just life” she tells him,
rocking him for four futile hours,
her eyes never leaving the broken lock on the front door,
as the song of the unsavoury street outside goes on and on.
She used to be the belle of the ball,
but now nobody calls,
it’s just the cries of her son,
and that familiar song of fights from next door,
the beat of drug deals and dead teens in the dark streets.
She is the mistress of minimum wage living,
the freshest flower at the food bank,
still showing up with a little hope,
smiling as she sees her son’s naive joy.
You can’t make much with donated tins but she piles them as high as she can in the kitchen cupboard, as he sits on the sideboard,
and she promises that one day,
she’ll make him a good man.
She dances in the moonlight to that familiar song,
as it comes to visit through the open window,
holding her boy close,
hoping he’ll find his way out of their hometown.