Every two days, an item for your edification and enjoyment

I’m a writer of fiction and poetry, when all’s said and done, and on the basis that a page of demonstration is worth a hundred of explanation, I’m going to start blogging with poems and stories every two days – some of them published, some not, in the hope that you all, dear readers, will be engaged and intrigued enough to want more.

Today’s item is dedicated, if that’s the right word, to our lovely bankers and all their works. It does not attempt to be unbiased

Owed to Banking

There’s a small charge on entering the bank for the wear and tear to our door

and a token Carpet Maintenance Fee for having your shoes on our floor.

You’ll find the branch is well organised to make sure our clients keep

to winding lines from the front to the back like nicely obedient sheep.

A single till will be working, while in various background places

several people will be sitting around with staring, vacant faces.

When you finally get to the counter, a pen is available there

securely chained and held in case anyone might dare

to pinch from the bank a plastic pen which doesn’t actually write

and never has been known to, though there’s always the chance that it might.

Whatever it is that you think we do, we almost certainly don’t

and, even if we usually will, this will be the day when we won’t.

We will not condone indolence or encourage the nation to shirk

so we only ever open when we know everyone’s at work

but there are, of course, cash machines for access to your goodies

generally placed right opposite large gangs of teenage hoodies

and, in any case, we’re doing our best to give you an accurate sign

that anyone with a grain of sense is now doing their banking online.

We’ll fix you a mortgage for the rest of your life, or even a personal loan

with no unreasonable demands except making your soul our own.

If you’re loaded, we’ll meet and greet you with a bright and cheery ‘good day’;

if you’re skint, then kindly bugger off and play on the motorway.

A genuine illness emergency might just be worth a try,

but inside the margin of three working days, you cannot officially die.

Our chairman’s pension equals twenty teachers’ pay put together

and our directors all have more than enough to live on for ever and ever

and every year we award ourselves a new binge of bonus purses,

each one of which would pay the wages of about twenty seven nurses.

Our kids all go to the very best schools where the values they are taught

are that everything and everyone is available to be bought.

 

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