yeah that

what you sow you reap

I was invincible then

running through fields

strings of lovelies

like wild horses

lost & found by hand

until they made me pay

explored my weakness

took me apart

one by one

made me care

think about the things

that mattered to them

houses furnishings curtain rings

leaving me no armour

when they turned me out

& fool that I was

I went chasing those fillies

wanting more

ending with nothing

but ashes & roses

knowing nothing but I was wrong

would have to start over

& over again

workstepping

I made my way there

the hard way

working my way up

from sweeping the floor

taking the welding course

& came the day

I got to set the Mig up

feeling hundreds of eyes

as I put my first weld down

flipped the mask up

let the join cool

checking to see

if I needed to get the disk out

get set to grind

& I heard the voices behind

some of us are welders

some of us are grinders

thinking

if they’re taking the piss

I just might

have made it home

ne’er the twain

I know

she wanted to love me

she told me so

& for some time

we tried

straining against the wind

long hot afternoons

evenings of winding sheets

to become

something else

as she could not

ever explore explain herself

state her needs in words

& I?

steadfast

holding a refusal

to be telepathic

discern articulate

her depths & desires

while forced into

defending my own

against her scorn

& there

out in the garden

mid afternoon

reading things writing things

watching the birds fly by

& there

corner of my eye

something somebody there

but yet not

hovering wanting to speak

but they don’t

just a sense of words

needing to be said

I sit more & wait

though they come no nearer

& then this feeling is gone

later I was told

around that time

granny was leaving us

with words she wanted to say

but couldn’t get out

I didn’t tell them of my visit

they think I’m crazy as it is

as me & her

hadn’t spoken in some years

anyway

y’try

to read the room

gauging fear & feelings

against the sit

of the crowd

I see the sigh

hear them

breathe in breathe out

perhaps bored

maybe a little happy

or just plain thirsty

& my girl

has none of those

reading skills

bounds in says Hi!

fails to understand

just why

they don’t eat her up

y’got to I say

ease in to any mob

find your spot

then work out from there

but she ain’t listening

& that’s why

they don’t love her

right off

with a little more brio

once more but please

with a little more brio

she wants to argue

& I’m doing

the thing of absence

having partaken

of the fun juice as has she

& we have a rule

no fights in the night

when firewater

has been the menu

I write down the anger points

her black & whites

hang those on the fridge

say let’s do this sober

watching her fingers

looking for things to throw

say over my shoulder

if it’s all the same

time for me to go

a plate hits the wall

which tomorrow

she will regret

as I don’t do her clean ups

because someone

has to hold the line

leaving nothing

she comes

she goes

leaving nothing

but her

yes’s & no’s

couple of hours later

these bombs

explode

leaving nothing but

craters & holes

then she wonders

why the invites

come slow

& when in the night

you wake up

scratching

a worried head

thinking of woes

wondering how come

you never

let this one go

out of all the loves

you’ve ever known

it is because of those

yes’s & no’s

discourse

the discourse

has shifted now

I see it around me

feel my friends

parsing their words

checking for wrong think

wrong speech

in things they want to say

will I be offended?

will they mis speak?

offend some stranger

not in the room

if they speak their truth

& we were not like this

could speak our minds

get issues wrong

could argue to shift opinion

rather than this hostile situation

where opinions are

formed elsewhere

to be repeated not questioned

or sanctions

& unintended consequences

will be made

the time

cleaning the stove

wiping down the washer

& I remind myself

the time

they put me through rehab

reminding me

teaching me

I was not above low tasks

like I’d not hauled coal

shifted bricks & mortar

carried weight

but here I was today

refreshments having been taken

scrubbing the stove

focussed on a dark spot

finding I was rubbing away

at heat settings

part of the instructions

thinking

maybe I needed

to revisit other lessons

learned there

at rehab