Thursday, 1 September 2011

Patrick’s Thistle



I once had a friend
called Patrick
he had a stem
a hairy beanstalk
sprouting out
an inch and a half
from the surface
of his purple face
& on the tip
a perfectly symmetrical
grey fuzzy ball
trimmed around neatly
as it grew freely
out of that left cheek

‘It’s my thistle’
he would proudly inform
those inquisitive
glances that often
prevailed when we
strolled about town
pub to pub

‘It’s my thistle’
he would proudly proclaim
what with his
unrelenting love of
The Jags
not the band
but the team
Partick Thistle
the true love
of his life

I once had a friend
who broke the
golden rule
never shave when drunk
the act of the fool
he sliced off his thistle
his proud beanstalk
with a clumsy hand
& sharpened Bic

Red seeping through the
snowy white foam
then in shock & with
life draining he slipped
bashed his face
on the sink
knocked out
somehow he fell
into the bath
ran 2 hours previous
& drowned in
blood & cold water

This all on the
very day when
Partick beat Rangers
at Hamden

Thistle and body
were buried together
three days later
it didn’t rain but
there still weren’t
any known faces there
facts as the facts
I suppose

No one cared

As for me
I never went either
couldn’t get
the day off

An extract from 'Nothing Poetic', a forthcoming collection of new poems and short fiction.

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