EXPECTING THE WORST
I leave my flat
to descend forty-two steps
of the stairwell, my sounds
magnified to clashing against
the passage walls of concrete.
Raining - always raining it seems,
even when it isnít.
I can hear someone below in the close.
The soles of hard shoes begin to skiff,
shuffle, skiff, like sticks on a drum.
Masculine wheezing is coming nearer.
I imagine a bald head, bowed, an overcoat
- the soleminity of officialdom.
Maybe it's the anxiety
of my deepening middle-age,
why I ponder
that some of us never fit into life.