old art deco decorated cinema
about to face the wrecking ball
to be reincarnated no doubt
into post-modernist form
it's futuristic replacement
gleams in sci-fi silver and moonscape white
but with its newness, incomplete, no-one can presently enter
for now with a week or two to live
it's still the antiquated movie museum neighbour.
Upon my final visit,
the shuddering cage poorly representing a lift
frighteningly hauls me to the balcony level
where I'm greeted
a little sadly, I think.
The loyal veteran usherettes eyes
outshine her torchlight
her red-nailed sinewy hands hesitating
almost reluctant to perform the age-old ritual
of tearing the ticket.
Her smile more than welcoming with mothering warmth
enough to soften the hardest heart
though unable to disguise the doomed air of redundancy
that mingles with so many decades of tobacco, human odour
and perfume left behind mostly by back row lovers
clinging to the many bums and backs flattened velvet seatings.
The wonderful ghosts of entertaining times
played out in this hallowed run-down palace
have had their day