Sunday, 24 April 2016

April Poems 2016/22

Stark Raving Mad

My father rarely got angry, preferred
to languish in the relative high ground
of mocking sarcasm, rolled eyes and
a sad, sad shake of the head
as if the stupidity of man,
or in this case children,
was utterly beyond belief.

He was angry when I set fire to the shed.
I didn't mean to. I only lit a match to scare away rats
but the floorboard were shot through with rot,
friable as cotton wool on a summer evening.
I got a hiding that day.

He was angry when I broke a window'
He'd told me not the throw my ball at the wall,
warned me what would happen
but I did it anyway.
I got a hiding that day.

He was angry when I almost shot him.
For a country without guns
it's surprisingly easy to make a cannon
from copper tubing and basic chemistry.
The stainless steel ball bearing missed his head by an inch;
had to be dug out of the door post.
I got a hiding that day.

He was angry when I was arrested at fourteen
shoplifting a girlie magazine
from the newsagent on the market
couldn't understand why I was looking at naked women
and me such a good Catholic and all.
“Are you stark raving mad?”
He didn't speak again for a week.




(I forgot to post this on Friday)

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