by Paul Tristram
‘It was another ordinary day on Festive Road’
I thought to myself in Cell 2 of Neath Police Station.
I was awake because the old drunk guy in Cell 1
had awoken at Dawn soberish and was panicking
at his newly found sobriety and bleak surroundings.
He was voicing his objections loudly or was trying to
but the Police were proving to be an unreceptive audience
on this cold and dismal Welsh Winter’s morning.
“I’m sober now boys, let me out…please?
A drop of water, you wouldn’t begrudge
an old man a little drop of water, would you?
I’ll be 62 in April and I still haven’t learnt my lesson,
I shouldn’t drink whiskey…even in thought.
A fag, how ‘bout a fag, eh?
I’ll sweep that corridor outside for a bit of ‘baccy and a Rizla?
What am I in here for, anyway?
It’s not fighting, I can’t fight, never could, even as a nipper,
the last fight I had was 20 years ago
and that was with my ex-wife and she cowing battered me n’all!"
But he was talking to himself, no one was listening but me,
the Cruel Bastards left the poor old bugger another 2 hours
before letting him out and explaining that he was only in
for singing and dancing in the hospital waiting room drunk.
(You can’t be upsetting the normal folk with that sort of carry on!)
I sat upon the wooden bunk and smiled as I heard him cackle
light-heartedly down that happy corridor to freedom.
My own outcome would be different, I was going out the back way
and off to something that was much darker and more terrible.