Auckland Street Originals. No 49. – Michelle Gaddes

decrepit timber, rusted fraught iron
white-washed blocks and streaked paint
palings lay neatly stacked in long lonely alley.
precarious door knob faces west –
guttering is patched, like a mouth full
of aged rag-doll teeth.
sombre windows, flaunt intricate
frames of once-damask and turn-of-the
century voile covers the stains of
bevelled, sun-faded squares –
boarded up, federation green panels.
little hovel survives close to the gutter which is
lined with European cars and latte-to-go.
a sordid meter box ominously greets with
shady patch of verandah –
the front door reveals a woman’s fearing face;
peers out from behind the 49 – her thin
windows, now delicate looking-glasses
that could speak a thousand songs.
See how the facade is missing –
and apathetic gaps allow gallant
gusts and vermin to follow fancy on
wild nights of cruel iced fronts.
on a meaty plinth, somewhere the
landlord bleeds his flock – and
curses the price of gruyere.
here outside the 49, pensive dandelion
and strands of purse lean against the
house that cries. its vents, smoky and
chimney, boarded up; ghosts remain.
the stack’s skyward reach, a relic, punctures the
marble-bladed sky and the high, rusted
tin roof, stained so long ago –
its past is art in passing.