Amateur

It’s hard to tell once on
The train to Birmingham
Whether it changed anything
Seeing a multiracial society
Kids running across bustling streets
The sights and smells differ
From quiet, sterilised streets
Amateur gardeners knead out
The weeds around a small plot
Of land. I’m bored just watching
The intricate backbreaking toil
I could remove the signs from
School gates, take what disruption
I can get my hands upon
Lice crawling on bare skin
Escape, not yet an option

Advertisements
Amateur

Place

Your Dad’s fists didn’t
Stop her running her mouth
Cross parts of his anatomy
“Shut it”, he’d warn
Just another mother
Bearing a responsibility
To bring up his children
You might think a woman
Has a place, and her male
Friends are a threat to what
Little self-esteem you have left
Misunderstanding, that a woman
Can be more than just
A smiling observant.
Jealousy, and rage
Insecurity between the temple
Between providing a home
And growing a life of your own
Taking on the easier targets
Proposing to leave bruises
While she takes your name

Place

Local

It used to be no problem
To trick a bartender
Beating the identification parade
Appearing to be underage
Sitting under the heated beams
In pub gardens, around
One small soft drink
Rummaging for a fifty pence piece
To smash a few pool balls
Rip a few stitches
Before card machines
Bar brawls were the price
You’d pay for stepping on
Someone else’s toes
Spilling drinks, hoping
The karaoke machine
Would update its stale
Old book, as old as
Questionable bar snacks
Landlords hard as nails
Chained to their jobs
Locked in well past time

Local

Underpass

Crystals reflect off the flickering lights
Fat fingers roll over another paper
Another cold, dark winter evening
Nothing doing for teenagers
Except the sickly sweet smoke
Rising from below the road
Underpass√© graffiti. “I woz ‘ere”
Small town tagging, not quite
The wit to make it onto talent shows
But these aren’t our words
We shield flames
With our cupped hands
Gather outside a solitary shop
Joke about sticking the place up
Boisterously demonstrate
Lacking amenities to pass time
Adults skulk past, step into their cars
We glimpse at our older selves
Give them a two fingered salute
As a parting gift

Underpass