June 2013 revision


Hamilton harbour:
Blue paint in the sun on gulls’ filth
And on their singing.
Brown foam, mustard foam, cobalt. Onionskin pink,
Ludovic slept on this beach.
After his mother stabbed him,
Potatoes and salt, bonfires,
Living in a tent.

Like real charity
He was dangerous and exciting.

The neighbour’s brave girl stole food
From home. They were fifteen.

You are thoughtful. You can see fossils
Of beatings and name-calling,

Of being saved by a girl
Embedded in his good manners and jokes
And respectful speech.

Paul Anthony Hutchinson
An earlier version of this poem was published in Hammered Out

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