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At Complete Odds


Rusty Broadspear

Invisibly distraught, or so he thought,
His body shook.
A river of tears,
On the verge of breaching the banks.
His existence hung in the balance,
In the hands of his son,
Who stood before him, smiling and
Brandishing a loaded gun.

In the normal sunshiny day,
Seven year old Jenny played in the street,
With her friend
And a battered clarinet.
Her friend calls her Siggy, (Sigourney),
Since chemo disposed of her hair.
Now Jenny feels bristles,
Since the doctor told Mum she'd be fine.
In the sky and inside Jenny,
Was radiant sunshine.

He tried to reason
With the young man before him,
Who used to make his Dad proud.
He stutteringly pointed out
The dreadful mistake
The young man was about to make.
A blank and bare ravine
Traversed separately by both
Between ages of thirteen and fourteen.
The mouth of druggie manchild smiled,
The eyes drilled with a diamond bit.

Jenny's friend threw the clarinet
To the gutter,
She couldn't even make it speak.
Neither could Jenny
But she picked it up
And pointed out the beauty
Of its design and the way the sun
Was multiplied from it's various angles.
Jenny, who was seven
And nearly went to Heaven,
Momentarily looked like an Angel
To her young friend.

When cleaning his room
He'd found drugs,
Which isn't so bad for a Dad,
A common parental problem,
In these days of rife temptation.
But he'd also found names,
Dates, deals struck and wads of cash.
Not a difficult decision.
He was replacing the phone,
After speaking to the police,
When in walked his son,
Who'd heard what he'd done.

Jenny and her friend
Sat in the gutter,
Both embracing the clarinet.
They were both fully aware,
That in earlier days,
This instrument was loved,
Provided love,
Dispensed magical qualities.
Somehow, although battered and broken,
It had survived,
Despite being deprived,
For so long
Of a midwife, to give birth to a song.

As they led him away
In handcuffs,
He cried at his dismal plight.
He believed he was clever
And would be for ever.
A thought was not spared
For his Dad,
Who so recently
Was tumbled and rolled,
Into infinite night.

Curtains were drawn as
Events unfolded on TV.
A short five minute sweep.

The clarinet lay on the floor
Beside the bed,
Jenny was curled, snug and fast asleep.
As bristles became hair.

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