& I hope the fool

fool on the radio

got the golden tones

singing his song

about being misunderstood

feeling the game

stacked against

since day one

& I hear him singing

just for me

maybe too

just for you

& I hope the fool

knows true

this how we all feel

not just you

whispers

y’call

into town

get a coffee & apple pie

maybe a bit of ice cream

there on the side

& the lady with her hubby

lets out a sneer

whispers

he’s got spurs on

there on his heels

& you smile at her

wink at the old man

‘cos they will never

get it

try as hard they can

spurs got uses

not just to tinkle

under the same sun

as you

but uses

for those that know

don’t need to understand

seeking

I went out

trying to find

seeking

this fella I’d once known

took me a while

we looked each other over

sat drank the coffee

& through being seated

our eyes

were there on a level

that was about

the only thing that was

there was nothing left

of him

or me

from the times

we’d known each other

before

but the only bitter I could taste

was at the bottom

of the coffee cup

but I knew straight

we’d be here no more

plans & schemes

I’d have to hustle

in those early days

create plans & schemes

write training courses

most anything might help

earn me a living

& I had some success

nothing breeds bright ideas

better than poverty

& I had some failures too

people would want to latch on

hold on in the hope

I’d bring some prosperity

their way too

but not being broke enough

to think of their own new

they’d just as easy fall off again

if something brighter newer

came their way happened along

& it took me a while

that losing people like these

was their problem

not mine

though to be sure

it took me a little while

to get there

for somebody

supposed to be bright

watch his knees

sitting in the car

& she said watch his knees

he was standing in a call box

early evening winter dark

seeing if they had another shift

he could go do earn again

& I was watching his knees

as the call connects he’ll buckle

she said & sure enough he did

my loco driving daddy

was off to pull another shift

& it might have taken years

for me to understand

he knew he had to go

but sure enough didn’t want to

feeding hungry kids

put food on the table

or going drinking with my grandpa

are only the choices

poor people have to make

getting picked up

became just how it was

walking driving riding

flashing lights making me pull over

where you going?

& I tried being nice tried being not nice

the results were always the same

me in the back of their car

going to a station cell for a couple of hours

sometimes the night

until they’d decide to let me go

occasionally there’d be a charge

which would be dropped or result in token fines

& then I found the silence

no responses no answers

at first I got the usual

but then they seemed to get bored

picking me up putting me in cells

I guess there was no fun anymore

trying to keep me in their system

the silence gave them nothing

to hang their bullshit on

turned the work into a chore

went looking for another talking fool

make the night less long

moving with the wind

come summer

& the tv goes away

switched off there at the wall

living in the northern hemisphere

summer can be fleeting

blink you’ll likely miss it

where winter needs something

help me hide away

but now

we walk out into the world

talk outside

go out into it the all of it

see the world as it is

glorious bright & coloured

moving with the wind

bright sun

as it was before

& will be after

antipathy

we got smiles all around

now

but back then

there were whispers

behind hands

he’s a bad boy

will let you down

& I got the looks

can play the part

what they could not see

is I had the heart

ideas of a kind man

to cut through

get the better plan

be the best friend

that girl could ever have

& now they act

like none of that happened

but they still don’t believe

I am the better man

work arounds

I wasn’t fond of him from the off

he leaned into me in the supermarket

drifting his cart into mine

looking one way rolling the other

another day he saw me walking the street

said nice to bump into you again

& for him that was all a relationship needed

can I buy you a coffee?

& we sat for a while

doing the generalities

when he asked can you look at this for me?

slid a letter into view

& I read it through quiet he asked out loud please

then what d’you think?

I told him best as I could my thoughts

& he asked soft if I’d write those responses

right down there on the line if I’d be so kind

adding in the address & the yours for all time

we never talked about if he could read or write

or discussed how I’d become privy to his personal life

his dealings with authorities the ex wife

seemed to be he never needed any of that

he’d just find work arounds

& from today that was gonna be me

when it comes to clothing

in rags

they will tell you

to get the job you want

wear the clothes for that position

to hitchhike

wear the style

people you want to pick you up

you can’t possibly go out in those pants

that shirt those shoes she tells me

though in the mirror I look passable

it seems to me

just don’t ever wear rags

be who you be

look flat broke on your backside

when it comes to clothing

nobody wants to hear

see your truth