to be chosen as the winner of the Summer competition themed "Lost in the City" (of Stoke on Trent) We had a new judge this time, and a record number of entries I believe, and I am looking forward to seeing all the other poems and getting them out there on the web-site. Hope you like the poem, and if not at least you've got a cute cat picture!
Trying to find a way
Not many people up Hanley duck - too cold.
The line for methadone in Boots shivers; make it quick.
Cat-walk of X-ray men who will never make old,
panda-eyed, hollow, with that fabulous heroin-chic.
Steamy windows. No middle-class shame in here.
On the tight-packed tables of comfort food they cluster
the Arthur Berry people built of chips and beer.
Latter-day beggars, banqueting in Bellybusters.
The city homeless claim friendships, perhaps
a night in Spoons, then shared sleeping, in a toilet block.
Or quick flash of Stanley knife, a faulty synapse;
after breakfast, he died from blood loss and shock.
Cruelly bordered by roads and retail parks, lost
amongst drugs and the fly-tipped people of the night:
a quiet row of houses. Her re-claimed home which cost
a trip to Poundland, the doors and windows bright
with optimism and fresh new coats of cheap paint.
Alleyways hide rubbish, or a pink used-condom sea.
Flower baskets defiant with marigolds, she’s no complaint;
and proud Mum sneaks in with a bowl of pot-pourri
©June Palmer 2015