just one block of council flats remains in this area where we work our magic in allocating out jobs to couriers so that multinationals and £500-an-hour law firms and hedge-fund managers who look after billions of pounds can remain healthy and strong making more money in one hour than all the tenants of this last block of council flats left will make in their lifetimes put together
just one ugly block of brick and red cladding council flats still stands amongst all of the million-pound lofts and chrome and smoked-glass luxury flats that have sprung up in this area over the last 8-years just one block with 42 flats where couriers and mechanics and school teachers and bus drivers and nurses and firemen and waitresses can still safely keep a roof over their families heads where they can still wash and cook and put their children into a bed and get them up to go into a school this one block of flats left sat there like a rotten tooth in a row of perfect molars housing these workers enabling them to keep their dignity and love as millionaire footballers move in next door as seven-figure-waged-bankers buy whole floors just so they can have somewhere to stay while in London as people in media hire cranes to lift £30,000 pieces of furniture into their lofts as politicians and councillors plot how best they can make this last ugly block of council flats left disappear along with its infections
Note: Martin Hayes works half a mile from Grenfell Tower. This poem was written over 6 months ago.
Martin was born in 1966 and has worked in the courier industry for over 35 years. His second book of poetry, When We Were Almost Like Men, was published by Smokestack Books and he has another collection coming out with Smokestack in 2018.