A softened finger would probe what was left of this freedom. Those runs
we carried out through cornfields, that we often burnt without a sliver
of remorse. The drinks we somehow managed to purchase without
I.D, and which we regurgitated without disgust.
The heat of August amongst the screaming children and barking dogs,
that relentless still air that never promises stable weather. No longer
does this time seem endless, as with the decades previous; it just seems
elongated, without the chance of an end.
Those times we would weave in and out of each others heads and
pockets. Bathing upon sun heated concrete, the broken bottles framing
our feet. Each back street and field were marked by our presence;
territories now owned by our touch.
Cool winds offer comfort now, my stomach and back escaping my torso
like weakened armour. No longer are they in any fit state for these kinds
of actions any more. We crawl slowly forward, and it's within these times
I once held precious, I feel like a stranger.
When anyone dared to ask that most insulting of enquires,
"So just what is it you do again?" I would state that it's an
abstract concept between the mattress, the pile of books,
and that ever ready green check once a fortnight.
And that the right kind of wine at just the right time
of day, can cut through this task like a vodka drenched
insult you know can never be retracted or forgiven, and
that hangs like torn flesh, for decades to come.
No need, I would say, to climb that ladder, that consists
only of two soiled poles. Without rungs it collapses at
the slightest touch. The overtime I constantly force
upon myself, offered no increase in earnings.
Another bulb blown, the only light the one that creeps
through the stained curtains. I hear the drop of leaves
and oil through the loosened gutters, and I realise once
again, there's no need to call in sick this morning.
Jonathan Butcher has had poetry appear in various print and online publications. His secondchapbook 'Broken Slates' has recently been published by Flutter Press.