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?