This Suburb

In this suburb, rush hour lures the
Lucky ones out in smoky cars and
Tributaries trickling to the bus stop
Past curtains drawn to hide a still-dark bedroom
From day's bright disapproving glare.
Inside, effort seems better spent
On blocking out the sounds, on just
Going back to sleep.
Noon wanders by lethargically
Through familiar streets, stumbling on
Familiar potholes. Look closely at a house:
You don't see him there at first,
Turning a footy in his hands. And then
You notice something odd—he's not at work.
Later he retreats as the commuters return,
Counting the hours they've worked. In this suburb,
Nobody looks forward to the weekend.
Amid lengthening shadows children laugh,
Busy about their games of make believe.
But even children seem to understand that
In this suburb, even imagination fades
And they are standing in the dilapidated gardens
Of the unemployed.