He took one final drag
Of his now damp cigarette,
Threw it in a puddle to float.
His form was indistinguishable
Beneath a heavy trenchcoat.
Which served to protect him from the rain,
A man on his way to a building.
Even a colour shot
Would have appeared black and white.
It was a grey day.
The man’s face is bewildered,
Etched with fright.
He goes in,
Stamping his feet on the way:
Some ritual, placed when young,
‘wipe those feet young man’,
the order sung.
1. Take a number.
2. Sit down square.
3. Wait your turn.
4. Stare at thin air.
Then take a newspaper from the table.
It will tell you of jobs for which you are not able.
Eventually a number is called.
A woman, so much younger than he,
(She might be his daughter)
Advises him upon his present state.
‘It’s all a case of wait, wait, wait.
‘Have you looked at the boards sir?’
Is her voice etched with contempt?
Or just disdain, enforced by time.
He returns to eyeball
With the boards.
The rest of the day
He waits in line.