21

I was 21
Sent to jail for not paying fines
motorcycle related charges
too fast, too loud,
riding a dangerous machine
they were determined to
put me ‘in the system’
& they did
I got 5 days
Went in Friday afternoon
in a queue for the shower
The guy in front says:
wot y’in for?
& laughs when I tell
he was a burglar
the guy behind a murderer
killed a man over an ice cream route
cos there’s big money in this
that quietened me down some.
Sat in a cell over the weekend
telling tall tales, learning new
an hour a day in a circle walk
rolling cigarettes
drawing slow breaths
the sun creeping over
stone grey high walls
& over thinking
If this guy asks me
for my dessert
He’s got it.
they let me go
on the Monday
with a train ticket
and a cheque for cash
for almost the fines
I hadn’t paid
being young
& time of no issue
I thought I’d gained
but it took years
for the system
to forget about me.
If they ever have.

Apology box

Can there be an apology box?
where all sorry’s can be made
a place to say oops
and then move on
as
I don’t see the point
in going back
finding people
I may have once hurt
to appease
placate
mollify
for misdeeds done once
(sometimes twice)
because I’m pretty sure
if I was rotten
they deserved it
or were being plain bad
to me.
Maybe then
there needs to be a
Fuck you box
And an
apology box.

No One

No one
I wanted to see
the road open in front
and absolutely
nowhere to go
its
not excitement
nor dread
more;
where do I want to go
today?
I fear that I am dull
because I see that
In others eyes
the call to nothing
nothing new to say
new thoughts: none
I am not content with this
though there is full
acceptance
the road welcomes me
it has new twists, turns
stops, starts and demands
that I be fully awake
maybe, just maybe I feel love
and call it Harley Davidson.

The Call to beige

I see it all around me, the fading
from colours that matched them so
the call into slacks, proper shoes
cardigans, windcheaters in beige.
I guess it’s the call to buy clothes
‘that will see me out’
The desire of comfort over fashion
the letting go of the daily anxiety
how to present in a hustling world
away from comfy slippers home
when the call comes upon me
I’m hoping the firing squad
will not be far behind

mourning son

I didn’t expect to mourn him so
those large hands that beat me
those eyes that bored into my soul
his anger that consumed me
kept me so long in fear
yet
I was the wayward one
& all this is gone
Left to memory
& forgetfulness
Like visiting a town I once knew
where memories come to haunt again
we never know our parents
the who they really are
tho’ they insist they know
every inch of their child
I guess we’re both wrong.

Voice

Her voice
slow, soft
a northern whine
of a young girl
moving for elbow room
pressure or manipulation?
In this relationship.
Or she
softer than night silk
monosyllabic
pleasing, easing
herself out of control
canoodling to union
tho’ she means to leave
the ending decision to him