All Those Old Apartment Blocks

All those old apartment blocks
from Magdeburg to Vladivostok
herding mostly with their kind
wait in one long sullen line,
in sun, snow, hail and rain
for a first bombflash of paint.

Few liked how their old walls were.
Now they leave for where they’ve heard
new lifts and lights are being stocked,
keeping one eye on the clock,
checking the queue. Who'll still
be here when I've reskilled?

Blue, green, beige and cream
absorb, as grey before, all sunbeams.
Onto those walls raindrops and snowflakes
crash, hailstones break.
The quizshow question: Which do you want?
Jobs for life or paint in the shops?