Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, January 20, 2013

My First Submarine

by Paul Tristram

I was 17 years old when I saw it.
Through a barred cell window
from the island of Portland
just off the coast of Dorset, England.
It only surfaced for a second or two.
There is a naval base in between
the island and the mainland.
It was just a dark thing
in a sea of grey under a sky of grey.
I wasn’t much impressed
by anything back then.
I was more concerned with the cell door.
I’d hit an English boy
on work duty at the prison farm
with the back, flat side of a silage fork.
Only across his arse
and the bottom of his feet,
a mere warning!
but enough to put him on the hospital wing.
He’d said that he didn’t like my Welsh Swagger,
all stupid, over nothing but words, again.
He hadn’t grassed, fair play
he’d told them that a cow had back kicked him.
But I still watched the cell door, waiting.
Then I turned on my little silver radio
and Canned Heat’s ‘On The Road Again’
came on through the one little speaker.
I had never heard it or of them before
and my head exploded with colours.
I lay on my bunk smoking and listening
and working out my release date,
it lands on next Easter Monday,
well, they don’t release on bank holidays
and also on weekends
so they have to release the day before these,
with Good Friday
that means I’ve cheated 4 days of prison.
I’m still lucky, I smiled aloud to myself
as Al ‘Blind Owl’ Wilson played
his pocket harp just like a beauty!

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