MISSPENT YOUTH (PENKIVIL ST APRIL 15)

MISSPENT YOUTH (PENKIVIL ST APRIL 15)

I hear a helicopter hovering overhead
I hear a hum of raised voices ascending below
I turn the volume up on my hearing aide
The neighbours are buzzing loudly in tremors of panic
I hear a siren wailing towards me like a banshee seeing cock
Apparently
Someone is shot
Apparently
Someone is wounded
Apparently
Someone is shot and wounded in the street below
I push my wheelchair to the lounge window
I pull the blinds apart and see
My neighbours
I see them all standing out there
Congregating with one hand to their mouths
Pointing and gesticulating with each other
They appear to be enjoying the drama of
Someone being shot
The worst aspect of humanity appears
When humanity is threatened
I couldn’t care less
I wonder what they hoped to achieve by talking about it
They are all too nosy
I push my wheelchair to the kitchen to get a drink
The siren stops but the neighbours are still there
I can hear them and I wish
That they were the ones who were shot
The helicopter eventually flies away and
The crowd begins to separate-dissipate
And life slowly returns to normal for all of us
Well for almost all of us
Someone was shot and wounded in my street
And as the old ladies return to the
Dusty cake tins
And dusty minds
The old men return to the pipes
And their cancerous prostrates
It’s then that I think of her
She looked at my tattoos
She pointed at them and said
Misspent youth
Well, I say now aloud to myself
It could be worse

Andrew Stuart Buchanan

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