NaPoWriMo 2014 Day 18 ‘Lobster In The Pot’


Friday, Good Friday today…happy Easter…today’s is a long poem for me…

‘Lobster In The Pot’ was inspired by the UK Welfare system. Waiting to be seen at Brixton’s Benefit Office back in the mid 1980’s was a soul destroying experience…luckily I found work the following week. My ticket number was E42.

Lobster In The Pot

Waiting for my future
To catch up with my past,
I can see my life before me,
Going nowhere, fast

Ticket clutched in hand,
Number E42,
Waiting in a seemingly endless queue
With those too unfortunate
To catch the welfare bus,
Which won’t wait
For any of us

A room too small
For all of us to fit,
Not enough seats
For everyone to sit
Not enough jobs to go around,
No future prospects to be found

What’s on offer just won’t do,
A drop in the ocean
That won’t reduce the queue

Our numbers are different
But the outcome is the same,
We are all losers
In this money and numbers game

Tomorrow the only difference
Will be the faces,
Sitting here,
In these self-same places

The light’s come on,
It’s my turn,
Feel the heat,
Watch me burn

It’s my fault
I shouldn’t have asked for more,
From a nation
At war
With inflation,
Now I’m being shown the door

They won’t give me
What I haven’t got,
Because the best place for a lobster
Is in the pot

Original draft: circa 1987
2nd draft: June 2013
3rd draft: 18/04/14
© Nick Ritchie 2014


© Nick Ritchie 2014


About themanofletters

Love poetry, love Marmite, Alright?
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