Sunday, 1 July 2018

Mr. Tarkowski

In the thirties and in his seventies
Mr. Tarkowski was a bear of a man
He had the same routine
Every morning
Two eggs he’d behead
With his commemorative cut-throat
With the decorative clasp
Salt butter caraway bread
At a time too late to be
Considered breakfast

Blank would be
His ancient milky mariner’s eyes
As he’d unload
In the unlit bathroom
With door open wide
Then trudge two worn out shoes
On the worn out stair
Down flights of two
To the street where
An odd sight he’d be
Resignedly burling up
To do his daily duty

Pin-striped legs
Would skirt round his given toil
Everyday he’d bend his back
Like a Prussian King Arthur
And extract
A cast iron safe
Weighing six stone eight
Embedded in the tarmac
Just yesterday
Same time
Same safe
Every day

Not even a grunt
Of effort he let
As he’d carry this dead weight
Up four sets
Of twelve sepia stairs
To the dark room he let
The well built treads gave no creak
Under the step of this man
His burden
And his cast iron will

In the summer months
A small bead may drop
From his heavy brow
Hit the floor by the window
Where the safe would be back
In its dust marked place
On the open ledge
And out of sight
He’d wait
For the rumble of boots
To catch the breeze from
Left to right

The imagined handkerchief
Would drop
And without fuss
Without noise
With death weight poised
He’d heave this
Damaclesiastical lump
To plummet over sooty glass
And peeling frame 'till it
Would stop
With the baroque thud
Of a long dead organist

He’d thickly curse
The absent crash
Of crushed skull
Or broken bone
As the black shirts
Marched past below

He’d arch his back
Light a smoke
And spit the fact
It would begin again

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