MY POEM FOR VAZ ON HIS EVENTUAL RETIREMENT FROM JMC
Stooped over with a crooked bad back –
how many years building red sleeves at Jubilee Mail Centre
an hour early before your shift, no more terrorist outfits, Father Christmas,
a snowman, a ship’s captain, Woking, 2C Horizon, a crooked back,
saluting you, fellow workers,
a gallery of photos to treasure in your eventual retirement, Vaz –
how much time spent, bad smells up your nostrils, hooked nose, discarded anchovy and Marmite pizzas, pigeon shit, Post Office dust up your flat Sri Lankan Hoover
for a nose, clogging your arteries, sixty-eight years old, maybe you should stay on until you’re seventy.
A working life at JMC, collapsing cardboard boxes, work until you’re seventy,
Jubilee Royal Mail Direct to London Central, he’s retiring now,
prawn tikka massala for breakfast, pineapple jam, action women to distract him,
unwanted attention from the mental midget managers here at JMC,
playing chess with Jim in the canteen, your Sicilian defence strategy,
full of abuse and scorn for his limited efforts, unappreciated –
we appreciated you Vaz,
dressing up, pirates, ship’s captains, gold braids and cuff-links.
A terrorist outfit once, cardboard rifle, gun –
maybe you should have should have been Superman, running on kryptonite
just to confuse the managers, none of them able to raise a hard-on,
ten packets of Viagra, out of sight –
here’s to you on your eventual retirement,
raising a flag-pole in your pocket, a salute.