The Beautiful Homes of Ealing
by Christian Ward
Suburban houses smirked at my school uniform thinner than watered down soup;
laughed at a hand-me-down blazer
and shoes on the verge of springing open
like a cartoon can.
Peering into them, I saw families
who never had poverty follow them
like an unwanted dog, never lived
in homes invaded by mildew
and never heard the daily lullaby
of police sirens.
I wanted to borrow this life for a day;
the thought of returning to poverty
making my stomach heavy as a stone,
look to nearby rivers.