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Lambert's Bible


Rusty Broadspear

Lambert struggled
Huddled in blankets.
He was dying
To get out of his teens,
Or striving.
He was late,
So had the south facing wall
Of the warehouse.
Lost his bedding during a late
Begging day.
The blankets were waiting for him.
Lambert lay thinking 'neath them,
Soddened, stinking,
But Lambert curled
Atop the detritus
And cold concrete, his feet
In torn Nike types
Were numb.
So was his bum.

Lambert was running backwards with Micky
Down to the stream,
Waving to Mum and Dad,
Yelling, "W'ell be right back!"
They'd be at the back gate,
Mum in her apron,
Dad with his scythe.
We were safe - they'd wait.
This place was new to us,
Someone took our old place.
But this place was much better
More stuff to do, more space.
Mum and Dad said they'd lost face.
They looked the same to me.

So Micky and me
Paddled and threw stones at fish,
Made the odd wish,
And told dirty jokes,
About Mary who went to our school
When her Dad let her,
When he hadn't hit her.

Deep down, Micky and me
Liked Mary,
Cute like a fairy
But, at school we went with the flow,
Pretended to despise her.
Well, she was dressed in rags,
Her nose was always running,
She was always crying,
And everyone knew boys had done things.

Then the school bell rings,
Too early - and we're all pulled in.
Mary's found dead 'n' scratched 'n' things.
Micky says to me,
" 'ere Lambert, you was with 'er"
"down by the ditch, beyond the football pitch."

That's how the story goes
And that's how the story grows.
So to abort,
Cut it short,
I spent six years in a home.

I think I did this for Micky,
He was older than me.
Now he's done well for himself.
I like Micky.

But I never saw Mum and Dad again,
'cos they thought I'd done it.
The home let me go -
It was cold and there was snow.
I carried a book called The Bible.
A carer gave it to me, said I'd need it.

I've never needed it
'cos I can't read it
but I've always kept it.

I wish I was with Micky
By the stream..
I suppose I am
In a kind of dream,
Still waving to Mum and Dad
And forgetting what's happened,
All that was so bad.

Cold feet, I'm used to -
But numb bum!

That's when The Bible came in so handy,
Raised my cheeks an inch or so
Off the floor such relief,
That Bible will stay with me forever more.

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