Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Reading courageously



It never really came to my mind that you must join the boys at the river,
‘Go and play ' mother encouraged but I was busy reading
...
The twilight burns off the last glow and it never occurred to you to watch the A-team on TV.
‘Leave that book alone and go watch the series with your brothers ' Mother used to say.

Father found me at the library; yes he found me between the shelves and told me to leave the books alone,
‘Boy those books will either make you a Satanist or a queer, for Christ sake leave those books alone'

Father got me a jersey, shaved my head and signed me up for the rugby team.
We played that Saturday and Wolseley broke my jaw, they broke my back as they jeered me off the field.

'Poesy, nerd queer' the home crowd erupted as the stretcher moved past them
‘Poesy, nerd, queer’ big brother scolded while father cursed his failures in the kitchen.

I kept to reading one line at a time,
I kept a book at the river while the boys played

I kept a book in the room while the boys dosed away in front of the TV
I kept the divine comedy in my heart before I ran brave on the field of purgatory.

They twisted me,
they cracked me,
And they bled me,

A screaming pig in Palestine
I played and I read courageously

One day I would leave that town
Leaving on fathers gleaming rail
ending this fucking story

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