Wrong TurnBeautifully burnt tinderbox boy -Wrong Turn9 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
he returns his top-hat to the coat rack,
never once touching his sore, red scars.
He cries out for socialism to
take his shoe-shine hands to a lump of coal.
He doesn't need pushing, just pulling.
Full of fear, he can sleep, shivering.
More than once, a bloated fist has drawn blood;
drawn him out of restless solitude.
Not the sort of company you'd keep.
You've learnt to shine your own shoes, to avoid
even a chance meeting. Cold, cruel world.
Hardly. Pull another tooth, will you?
The fairy doesn't come down these alleys -
This is where they bring people to die.
Bad-blood. Grudges are cleared; debts are paid.
The lights blink nervously. You've got the wrong
place – dentist's the other side of town.