The Good Neighbour

A new poem by Anita Pati.

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Maureen hobbles towards me this streetside.
Her neck like broken.

Her slippers slap but her head sleeps.
Her lot was taken.

And her white hands are soft
bread fingers.

And she seems to shiver a lot.
Hot strangers.

Pudding bowl hair from Pine Day Centre.
Moss in mouth.

She wears that quilted jacket again.
Let me out!

“Do you have 10p for a cup of tea?”
T to Tar you.

“They can f-off. Will they hurt me?”
F to Feather you.

They’ll plop those pennies onto your eyes.
But you won’t be queen.

And stake your wishbone as the prize –
oh, Maureen.

“Will you always help me?”
Her line.

In her window; an amber silhouette
facing mine.


Anita Pati lives in London but comes from the north west of England. She has been a library assistant and a journalist and is working towards her first poetry publication.

This article appears in the 04 May 2018 issue of the New Statesman, What Marx got right

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