by Kev Walker

Content warning:  mentions domestic violence, substance misuse, neglect and self-harm

He woke in the morning, as often he’d done
awake with the birds and the half risen sun.
The room was a tip, he hated it so
but to tidy takes time, it was time to go.

Throw on some clothes from off of the floor
kick his way through the grubby, knuckle-marked door.
Sneak down the staircase, dodging needles and glass
peer into the lounge, they’ll be easy to pass.

No shouting or punching, from either today
passed out on the floor            where they’ll probably stay
For last night was a “blinder”, the dole did its job
a litre of vodka and some pills down their gob.

A walk through the kitchen, avoiding the cat-shit
His sister sleeping upstairs                  he stops for a bit
no noise was heard when passing her room
no real love she’s had since time in the womb.

Should he go up, to check on her sleep?
Noise in the lounge!          Out the back door he creeps
The wind is a blessing, it dries off a tear
Cool on his cheek, blows away fear.

He knows where he’s heading, to the shops as a rule
get enough cash from stealing, no need for the school.
He tried for a bit, stuck it out for two years
got decent grades too, but it ended in tears.

No praise for his graft, not even a smile
so he jacked it in, thought he’d steal for a while.
Rounding the corner, unzipping his top
into Tesco’s, for his pick of the crop.

No sooner the steaks had touched his belly
grabbed by staff who’d watched on the telly.
Held in the back with the evidence laid out
store manager “Boris” didn’t half scream and shout!

Every word made him wince, as it rang in his ear
he thought of his sister, his head started to clear
“last warning” they’d said last time, last week
he should’ve gave up, but that’s for the meek.

The police had arrived, they took him away
stuck in a cell on his own with nothing to say.
He was only 13, yet old enough to know
no parents again            will a social worker show?

His stomach in knots, like filled up with flies
his head in a spin and pain etched in his eyes,
Another stranger’s house, or a borstal this time?
Home was a nightmare but would suit him just fine.

The cell opens up, a middle aged man
Carrying a clipboard, a cheap pen in his hand
Yet another agent for another new bunch
Another house of strangers, doubt I’ll make it till Lunch!

Or perhaps this time, I’ll give them a chance
Living at home was survival, of bad circumstance
But what of my sister, she’s hardly a tot?
Stuck in her dirty room, blinded by snot

I’m led through the door, there’s pop on the table
I put on my ‘Hard Face’                  best as I’m able.
I ask of my sister, he tells me “she’s fine”
I ask for some proof, he says “all in good time”

The papers are sorted, I’m stuck in the car
driving through back roads, to some house afar
Another new start, another new fuck up
Should I run today? Or is my luck up?

“So how does it end?” I hear you all mutter,
“Is it all happy?” “What of the sister?”
But this is my life             not a Walt Disney story,
So I’m sorry you’re lacking an ending of glory
Its where I am now, the doubt of each day.
Tomorrow                  who knows, I’m finding my way.
The thoughts in my head I can calm for a bit
take a blade to my body, little cuts into it.

The ongoing story.

Featured image: via redbookmag

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