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Experiment 5

Suburban Ballad

page 30

Suburban Ballad

All alone in the house she lay,
Thumbing through the magazines,
A busy father's porcelain child,
Lost in a bank of dreams.

While up and down the echoing road
The weekday world would flow
Like pictures on a movie screen
Or crowds at a circus show.

On weekend walks in Cupid's Park
The Sunday girls did toss and sway
Unfettered by plaits or flat-heeled shoes,
Gay as yachts on a summer's day.

But she was bound by her father's
Pride, the product of his genes,
To bless his little house with love
And soothe his ageing schemes.

Until her blood's transfusion spilt
And beat against the bone,
Aching to satisfy desires
That were not found at home.

So, from her bedroom, after school
Her heart leapt down the street
And banged on the door of 33,
Which was Lancelot's regular beat.

Lancelot's teeth were white as chalk.
His father was a broker.
He always took a dash of lime
And he always wore a choker.

That neighbourhood was his delight,
Its radio-ridden wives
Found his fleeting kisses brought
A lost romance to their lives.

She watched him in her window-glass,
Gyrating from bed to bed.
Love stung her like a swarm of bees,
'He shall be mine,' she said.

With ribboned hair and ripening lips
She sauntered to the garden gate,
Where Lancelot stiffened to behold
Such innocent and tender bait.

His hair was black, his eyes were wild,
With making love and whoopee.
He drove her to his city flat
In a low slung drop-head coupe.

Love vanished with the winds of May.
A son was born in September.
He'd bright black eyes and a ready smile
That was easy to remember.

The fences hummed, her father drummed
His broken gospel night and day,
Until the house came tumbling down
And the years were swept away.

Now all alone in a room she lies,
Thumbing through the magazines,
A forgotten father's bewildered child,
Lost in a maze of dreams.

While up and down the corridors
The psychiatric nurses go,
Like pictures on a movie screen
Or crowds at a circus show.