what a delicious darling she is
all neatly manicured,
all shiny, nowhere near new.
On Fridays she takes the early train to Central
then walks the last 500 meters on foot,
past Parsons Infirmary for the Mentally Insane
to the squat grey St Vinnies building on the corner.
The queue greets her first,
like a worm it meanders down York Street
snaking round the bend into Russel road.
Some nod, yell out and grin,
others shun recognition, hiding defeat,
scowl, look the other way.
She doesn't seem to notice.
Stuffed in her satchel are all sorts of scrummies,
jam tarts, shortbread, muffins and freshly baked bread,
all soft and warm.
At last she ducks inside the large red double doors
eight feet tall and gaunt,
desperate for a lick of paint.
Mavis hard at work with the soup bowls
greets her with a curt nod
She retreats to the kitchen to unload her booty
and don her apron.
Waiting in the shadows is Joe,
with eyes like piss holes in the snow.
She digs further into the depths of her satchel,
quaking fingers touch the clear cellophane bag
then grip it tightly.
Her slight frame moves deceptively fast
as she scuttles to the back of the kitchen,
with a quick flick she drops her burden
into waiting greedy hands.
Quickly Joe opens the bag,
wets his index finger, slips it in the bag
then rubs it over his blackened teeth and gums.
"Ya did good Winnie,
hubbies safe for another week".
laughing like a hyena he slips out the back
and scurries off.
Winifred with heart pounding leans against the kitchen sink
Sweat beading her top lip.
Mavis stands silhouetted against the kitchen door.
"Come on Winifred
are you ok? I can't do it on my own"
"Yes, yes of course" Winifred pushes past Mavis
into the waiting hall.
Looking up to the corner window she can see Parsons,
see figures aimlessly moving past the barred windows.
Which one was Jack she wondered,
Shifty, dirty, city hubbub scenes - gotta love it. Also gotta love your distinct Australian accents and wording that lifts off the page.
Way to paint something raw and vivid, man. You've got a signature. Props.