On the way to work - David Hay

On the way to work - David Hay

In a shelter of darkness,

I gave a homeless man a cigarette

And lit it for him.


The Sky would soon be on fire.


Teeth clenched, I feel myself falling

Like tears carried by a light breeze

Into the dreams of the boy, I left

In the gauze of morning light,

Watching the birth of clouds

Into eyes, half-shut in sleep.


I can’t bury my childhood

It isn’t a corpse, that disintegrates

Into the anonymity of nature.


It’s something stranger, harder to define.


People are paradoxes who will never understand themselves.


But maybe that’s my feeble  baby-shoot brain

Stunted by the limited light and clear skies.


My childhood is a ghost, haunting

The byways of my graved thought routes.


Then when joy is unshackled from the altars of respectability,

The urchin cast out when teenagers mocked me for still playing with toys,

Returns and the know the truth, slurred by drunks in the back alleys of night,

that adults are everything that’s wrong with the world

Is true.


A soulless gimp in a human suit taps you on the shoulder,

Drinking a cocktail like he invented it,


Try to be normal old chap


And I dream of punching him in his already smushy face

Before running into the woods, tearing off the suits that have

Imprisoned my dreams for so many years ...


But I smile and nod, sit down at my desk,

My hopes sinking like flames into the sea.


Written by David Hay

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