forgotten to nurture

another one gone

was how I got to feel

after a while

but that first one

the second

mebbe even the third

pulled my head around

left me walking wounded

unable to sleep eat

look after myself

in any meaningful way

a roar between the ears

aching deep in my gut

feeling foolish as anyone can

letting the pretty bird

I’d forgotten to nurture

flutter away

new girls friends

dragged off to meet people

her friends

the ones pulled her through

& it becomes hard to care

you started this

eyes across a room

flimsy meet in the street

& now

there are faces to say hello to

& there will be one

there always is

treat her right or you will

have to answer to me

threats now

like I had any other

ideas in mind

makes a man want to walk

but you stay try anyway

& later she wonders why

you don’t want to meet

her friends again

prigs paradise

never one in any way avuncular

a snuffling pig hunting me down

every chance he got

handcuffed me to the back of the sofa

so’s I couldn’t watch the tv

pulled my fingernails back

until I confessed to smoking

which I had yet decided to try

all he said to keep me in line

& the other turned a blind eye

though he had once helped

me to learn to read help me he claimed

to keep my snotty nose clean yet

invited confessions of everyday things

wanted me to tell him of my days

make reports back to the torturers

those with rules but no handkerchiefs

& the others were distant creatures

beasts wandering far off plains

whose only homilies seemed to be

honour your father & mother

do as your duty entails

meantime do as I say

not what I do

or else

watcher not in the act

looking for me

taking photographs of each minute

watching the scene as I wrote

looking for me

to bring the moment alive

I started asking

c’mere baby can’t you see

you’re the looker on

the watcher not in the act?

shhhhh she whispered

I want to capture what you got

but I knew what I held

don’t come in rattle cans

hygiene wrapped from the market

only exists in the fleeting

frisson between me & you

& that kind of magic

can’t be pulled from the bag

ordered for the capturing eye

coulda been a contender

she dragged me to her home

drunk in the back of a cab

hushing me quiet in the kitchen

while she paid off the babysitter

as I mused on the white goods

mug tree pictures on the ‘fridge

pulled me into her bed

whispering in my ear

everything was going to be

all right

& I did what I said I’d do

making love in a strange bed

to a woman I’d just met

in the corner of a party

for folks I didn’t know too

to be woken rough

grabbing at my shoulder

y’gotta go now

my daughter will be up soon

the clock glaring 6.00

& I dragged myself up

out of the struggled sheets

into my thrown clothes

sideways into dawn streets

cold & alone again

knowing I would never return

just another relegated contender

clogging up the day