She has the best house in the street
People regularly ask if she’s selling
It is a lovely house.
The porch a haven to sit in the shade
Plants in baskets hanging by a rusty nail that’s coming loose
In the living room impressive carved chairs sit full of dust from the street – they let out a plume every time someone sits down
If you sit on them at the wrong angle the seat, and it’s occupant, fall through the middle onto the floor
Between the chairs fake flowers bloom in pink and green sitting in a broken vase
The living room opens into the kitchen. They’ve just put new tiles down
There is a plastic bag over the kitchen tap because the sink is broken and she doesn’t want it to fall through the work surfaces.
She has pictures of her family in broken frames
Three clocks adorn the walls
Not one of them ticks
The kitchen table sits in the middle of the room with a pretty flowery lace cloth
Hiding underneath is a base with a slab of wood balanced on top
Rest your arms on one side and the whole top comes up
Look closely and the cloth has paint, cigarette holes, burn marks, food stains.
There is a shelf in the bathroom that with too much weight comes crashing down
A door that sticks.
A chair fixed with cardboard.
Another split, spilling it’s insides and missing a wheel.
A ceiling that is rotting.
Her kitchen plug hangs loose from the wall.
The seal has gone from the pressure cooker and the handle has fallen off. The stove top coffee machine with the lid balanced on top and a missing handle. It needs much care to take it off the stove.
Three of her coffee cups are missing their handles, forks missing prongs, all her plates are marked or chipped.
The window pane is broken propped up with clothes pegs and there is a hole in the floor.
The plaster is crumbling in the corner. The back door is rotting at the base where water passes daily.
The tv needs it’s cables wiggling and someone to adjust the antennae.
The DVD player only works with a memory stick.
She has ornaments around the telly: a dolphin missing it’s nose, a Virgin Mary with broken glass.
These are the things that no-one sees
Not here nor in any house in Cuba
They are so common as to be invisible