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Friday, 17 April 2015

Jimmy Smash - new poem

Some new poems I put on my website, and some I put on my blog. I decide which goes where on the basis of various factors: my website is usually reserved for poems that I'm satisfied are finished - I take a kind of publish-and-be-damned attitude to the poems there. Also, the website poems are aimed at primary school children, although there are several that I have shared with older children and even adults. On my blog I sometimes put poems that are in varying states of unfinishedness, and/or poems that are aimed at an older audience. Here is one of them. Feedback welcome.

Jimmy Smash

We’d wait for you after school,
save you a seat on the bus.
You’d always come and sit with us.
Probably at first you thought we

were your friends. You went home
and told your mum you’d met
some new mates. Sometimes
we’d wait for you at the gates, and do

that thing where you kick the back of
someone’s knees, making them buckle.
We’d laugh at the way you said owww!
and you’d laugh too. You must have

realised, after a while, that we
were not in this for friendship.
When you came to fill that empty seat
with your cheeks as fresh

as virgin snow and your eyes
like targets, we’d stamp on your face
with our own insecurities.
Our jibes were fragile arrows.

You weren’t to know this, of course.
You stuck around for over a year,
playing the jester to our clique of kings.
At the time we told ourselves that you

didn’t mind, that it was all a bit of fun.
The other day, my mum ran into yours
at Sainsbury’s. I’ve since found out
that you used to cry into your pillow

every day after school. It took years
of therapy to wipe the footprints clean.
And for what it’s worth, I broke my bow
and my feet are still full of blisters. 

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