kept in concrete

standing on the corner

feeling the wind on my face

little flecks of rain

& I could go west go south

forward or back

stay here for a little while more

the choice is mine to make

& somewhere is calling

time to find my way home

thinking of times my feet

were not mine to control

stuck in places times

feeling nothing but alone

when freedom was just a word

for others to throw like a stone

while they kept me in concrete

how I remember these things

there was a worn carpet laid on bare boards

holding only the centre of the room

two chairs either side of the open fire

a sofa & a high table we sometimes ate at

curtained windows either end

that in winter had frost on the inside

my little room had cowboys on the paper

thick rough blankets & in winter coats piled on too

it is the biting cold I remember most

cold feet on cold floors cold coming in

cold going out cold weather cold people

cruel carers who took the money & ran

& these would steal my few toys for their kids

nothing stayed nothing stuck mother run away

father always absent a ghost figure tired pale

& I never knew from one day to next

would any of these be there when I got home

within the walls of this cold place of no food

always gut hungry for anything going

& now when they say you ever coming home?

I tell them I find the north too cold prefer the south

& they try to tell me I’m a too sensitive soul

but we know better I’m a soul with strong memories

remembers the cold remembers how it lingers on

heading south

you can tell them going along when it gets hotter

you’re letting water out the whole time

so you gotta let lots of water in

have a liter bottle the whole two pints

& when that empties fill it up again

keep the cycle going else you start making poor choices

& they nod along to the sage advice

wondering just when it was you became crazy

so you do it yourself to make the show

& of course like all good advice gets left by the roadside

two days in you find one stuck staring at the gas station cashier

unable to tell her which gas pump he wants to pay for

you sort that for him & now he resents you

for being clever & knowing Spanish Cuatro for four

he’s thirsty he says reaches out for cold beer

make it water you say soft we got another hundred to ride

oh fuck you & your water he says I need to drink

as you walk out into the sun saddle up & go

he drifts further & further back as you wonder in those miles

just where & when it was you turned into a nagging granny

herding this ragged pack of unthinking thirsty cats

that night he won’t eat sits with beer & chocolate bars

& in the morning complains his ass is bleeding

& lord you want to tell him why but know clear

that will only start a fight & wait a while knowing what will come

I think I might turn back he says I’ve had enough of this sun

& you think back to the colder happier northern nights

you all sat together looking at maps sorting this run

& the friendship you had there once is over

as poor decisions grow into bad decisions over not enough agua