did i jump, or was i pushed, that day?


sixties school drop-out, academic failure,

existential attitude, my default behaviour,

never hip enough to fall out of favour.


working class mates led different lives,

pub-drinking and disco-fevered jives;

alone in suburbia, absent sharp knives.


smoking scented French cigarettes,

playing songwriter LPs, sad mindset,

crude, clumsy poet: no literary threat.


“would i like to hear a bible speaker”?

a neighbour asked – I was no seeker

her concern recalled trusted teachers.


adolescent awkward, I duly listened,

gospel preached, some eyes glistened;

unmoved – hadn’t I’d been christened?


at exit door preacher took his stand,

steely questions asked, not underhand

–  biblically illiterate, my answers bland.


he boldly asked could we possibly pray,

his simple prayer was pure child’s play;

did i jump, or was i pushed that day?


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