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Nov 2015
Richard's always lived at number 52
With his buttoned-down shirt
and his laced-up shoes,
and the damp on the wall
where a photo never moves
and his mother and father and sister,
they live there too.

Richard's always lived at number 52
Even when the council
tried to get him to move
he straightened his tie
and he showed them the door
Old men don't bother Richard anymore.

Richard's always lived at number 52,
He told me once
he was born in the back room
On that same sofa where he lies and watches TV
his mother tells him she was 7 hours in agony.

Richard's always lived at number 52
Only last month's mortgage payment fell through,
so a van came with boxes
and took Richard's bed
and they took his TV and his fridge and his head.

Richard used to live at number 52
where music would play
and he'd hum his own tune
but now there's damp on the wall
and the picture's been moved
and Richard doesn't know who
lives at number 52
Martha O'Brien
Written by
Martha O'Brien  UK
   ---, Cath Williams and ---
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