‘Monopoly’ by Paul Farley

November 20, 2012

Monopoly
Paul Farley

(part of the Poems on the Underground series)


We sat like slum landlords around the board
buying each other out with fake banknotes,
until we lost more than we could afford,
or ever hope to pay back. Now our seats
are empty — one by one we left the game
to play for real, at first completely lost
in this other world, its building sites, its rain;
but slowly learned the rules and made our own,
stayed out of jail and kept our noses clean.
And now there’s only me — sole freeholder
of every empty office space in town,
and from the quayside I can count the cost
each low tide brings — the skeletons and rust
of boats, cars, hats, boots, iron, a terrier.

*

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