The Estate.

I was brought up on a housing estate, eventually I escaped into words. My life changed when I was in a pub and met a girl who was ay Uni doing Lit who I shared speed with as we listened to a band, then we went back to hers and had sex. She was showering and laid beside the bed Wass a copy of the “Plague” Albert Camus. She saw me flicking through it and said “take it home and read it”. My life changed. But my early years in this poem still pervade today.

The Estate


Kids with kids in

second hand push chairs

walking line ahead.

Lad at the front

mother and baby

to the back.


Its how its done

when your hard enough.


Burberry caps and Adidas tracksuits

Nike sneakers cheap knock offs.

Big earrings gold in colour.

Make up layered upon layer.

Stoned. Started at lunch times

on the school field

Before fucking off.

What’s the point its shit.


Pubs full at dinner time.

Kids in chairs as dad 

has a pint, then another.

Mam and dad smoking

kid between them not knowing.

There’s Steve in the corner

got two mates with him.


Go over. “Got any Wizz for tonight mate”?

“Any good”? Yeah fair gear mate.

What about Chaz (cocain)? Steve’s a good lad.

“Yeah but its shit to be fair”

“You could bake a cake

With what the fuckers have cut it with”

“Cheers mate” “Seven in here tonight?”

“Here have a pint on me”.

“Nice one Phil cheers”.


“Jane.. another pint love?”

“Its ok use the same glass.”

“Hows your kid going on”?

“OK they said they might keep him on”.

“Nice one”.

“Can you take the foam off that?”

“You could have a shave with that lot”.

Glass is wet with lager and slippery.


Over heard….

“Hey have you seen that twat Liam”?

“No why”

“Fucker was snogging our lass

Friday night at the karaoke”!

“I’ll kill the cunt”!

“What about Kyle, are ya dumping her”?

“She’s fucking history mate”!


“Got some good weed if your up for a smoke”?

“Nah thanks mate, I’m just drinking till tonight”.

“Got some speed coming though. That’ll do me”.

“Are you still seeing that posh bird”?


“She’s not posh”.

“Fuck off they’ve got their own house

And she’s at University!”

“Yeah and her dads got a beamer”.

“Fuck you and yes I am seeing her”.

“She” was Shiela and was doing modern literature

At Hull University, she was from a nice semi, 

went abroad for her holidays,

And dressed like a hippy.

We’d met by accident in the old town

and we’d laughed together so 

I asked her out.

I was lost when she said “yes”.

How do you take a posh bird out.


“Look at that fucking lot”.


“Come here taking our jobs”!

“For fucks sake, you’ve never had a job in your life!

they seem ok to me.”


“Anyway I’m off back to me seat,

see ya later mate, if your out tonight”?

“Yeah see you later man”.


“Hey up Phil

Can you sub us a fiver

Till me money comes through”?

“No not until I get the last one back”.

“Oh for fucks sake I won’t get out tonight.”

“Ah ok one more and that’s it till you give

back what you’ve had, don’t take me for a twat mate”!

“Nah you’ll get it I promise.”

“OK I don’t want us to fall out”.


He knew what that meant we’d end

Up out the back of the pub!

My dad had punched me that many times 

I wasn’t afraid of pain and had

Become my dads son!

I’d hit people down in one.

People knew it, mostly mates

from school don’t cross the line

Unless your a tight mate.

His Uncle is George and his dads Dave.

But my life was about to change

Thanks to a copy of “The Plague”.

Open where Shiela had left it.



© Mentalelf 2023
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