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i.m. Dominic

When he falls,
catching his foot on the kerb,
he is a nuisance,
to be skirted round quickly,
like the fly-ridden spew
outside The Queen’s Head.
Even the pigeons ignore him.

His backpack weighs on him,
like a brickie’s hod, but
struggling up on his knees,
manages to right himself,
takes small steps
to the news-stand and leans,
until shooed away by the vendor.

His clothes are a cloak
of stale body odours,
sandpaper to the open abscess
on his leg. He thieves bread from
a market stall and shuffles
to the library, where he can have
a piss, drink their water.

He is content among the books and
picks the broadsheets clean of news.
Now he draws the cutting
from his pack, smoothes it on the table,
reads it over again and again,
staring at the photos, reigniting grief
vacuum-packed deep in his chest.



“I wrote this poem for our third assignment in the course Writing Poems, Writing People, run by the inspiring and challenging Jonathan Edwards. We were looking at ‘oddballs’ and were required to write a poem about an extraordinary/outlandish character. This version was achieved after feedback from Jonathan and fellow course-members.”


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Image Credits:

Image: Rough sleepers in Polk Street, a reflection in an office building

Image credit: Lars Plougmann