First published in ‘Moment’: Poetry in Motion Community Anthology 2013
I taste blood.
With salted tears, it comforts me.
Of busted lips and bloody knees,
of thumps and falls, and memories,
of childhood scrapes etched in my mind
but this, no, this is not that kind.
Each shallow breath slowly revives
the embers of dread locked deep inside.
Where will I find my comfort now?
Whose flag will they wrap me in for my shroud?
When hurt as a child I made for home, a sticky plaster, some milk, a bun.
But now I’m older, and wiser I claim
For each hurt and failure the other’s to blame.
I unfurl my arms from about my head;
look up through darkness at stars long dead.
They taunt me from the sky above,
where now your brotherhood, your peace, your love?
They care not whether I live or die;
Just do as your told don’t question why.
A sectarian overcoat, fits all, as it ought;
reversible indeed, protects all wearers from thought.
I pick it up, try it on, feel its warmth on my skin.
On this cold autumn night I will suffer no sins.
Taking my weapon of choice my moment has come.
But the blood that I taste says this is no place like home.