They didn’t know that I knew
that was the last time they’d see me,
my open palm blurring into a wave,
fingers swaying side by side but thumbs
firmly flexed for the road as freedom called.
I could hear the distant roar as I threw
those bloater paste butties over the hedge,
poured the flask of Ovaltine into Mr. Sheen’s
post box, dropped Jammy Dodgers that lodged
in the gutter choked with a cascade of discarded
bills, pages from a porno mag and a ripped out page
from Belinda’s diary describing our first shag.
I always had a plan to catch the giant juggernaut
driven by “Hairy Bill” with his life’s tattoo
taut and glued to his window sill arms.
He’d give sound advice like, “Head further south.”
or “The B ans B’s in Birmingham are shite. I heard
it all by word of mouth so it must be right.”
Got dropped off, saw a café, walked into laughter,
served by Gloria who’d introduce me to her family,
wardrobe and more beside. Next day her dad was off
on a bus ride to Cairo, to collect ripe bananas and a
consignment of lilo’s. Gloria and I were up there
regaled by his stories of Mr. Malhampton who sold
old mirages and ice cream in the casbah and when
we arrived he was ever so pleased and took us to where
we could live at our ease while raising our own family.
We took over his illusion when he finally passed
far and wide out of his oasis. I don't like to boast
but what an amazing life is passing me by.
Gloria! Pass me a pina colada and a white truffle
From Alba out of the larder.