Jonathan Butcher

Scraping Pockets

Overseen by pockets, that fall
deep over backs. The secrets pile
high like mould, that mapped out
places of refuge; skylines of needles
and torn sleeves slowly dim under
this retreating light.

Fishing for the facts you know we
each held private and gorging on
amour dents and family lies; a bribe
or two each evening left you feeling well
fed each time, the bile that lined your
stomach a conductor for negativity.

Never one to question, even as you
shifted without guile from street to bar,
from adopted home to field. Each time
the cloud of your presence refused to disperse
and separated you like torn scabs from scars,
that you never allowed to heal.

And once exposed, crawling from beneath
rocks light enough for your back to lift,
yet never fully remove. Running like rattled
rats, your followers deplete yet again and sell
you short for the slightest glimmer of silver.

A Crack in the Shell

Across classrooms and street corners,
that same sense permeates each street
you turned. Your hair never straight enough,
your voice that never broke through collective
chatter and never produced an echo.

Your eyes faced downwards, past laughter
and insults, which those tree-lined roads failed
to shelter. The hand-me-down wardrobe never
kept out this incessant chill, that constantly
lingered without respite.

And past that window in which you sat,
amidst the smoke and dust clouds with no
exit in sight, other than the turn of each day,
that brought you back again to the start
of this perpetual cycle.

Then finally those years in this cluttered
home were over, where education was
gambled for an easy afternoon, and that
shield you relied upon was slowly lifted,
whilst the rest held on for false protection.

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