Tom Liney shares
Tea wafts between-
Delayed by stories of sea crossings,
Dessert walks, biting cold-
We stare in anger through taught smiles.
Broken English rings
I wonder how they would normally dress
I wonder if they could possibly feel less-
Like grinning fools in anger we stare.
Like the action figure we are taught to idolise
Beat a learned rhythm into
Faces too young to have seen the truth
Hands too gentle to have been cut open
We stare. Taught smiles. Grinning teeth. Silently buckling under bitter truths.
Trace the pages of Home Flown
Like the story of his passage.
He asks me the meaning of a word he doesn’t know
And I lie that it has meaning at all.
He recognizes ‘Love’ and I don’t have the heart
To crush his poster word-
Emptied like the teargas can at his feet.
Mangled into mud- lie
Rejected by comfort.
He shows me pictures of a sweet past
Like flares of hope
Giving reason to jump.
Jumping not into the arms of brothers
But the teeth of comfort’s fools.