I caught a glimpse of Trevor today,
he was looking good in a
spotless track suit
brand new trainers,
jaunty bowler (brown)
and balaclava
he was scuttling between
toppled headstones,
dotted about his home base
in the masonic necropolis
ranting at an Uncle B.
who was not there,
and more than likely imaginary,
heading, I guess, for the
back door of Sainsbury’s –
Trevor only ate what he rooted
from supermarket skips –
their scraps were a safer bet
than ‘chuck-outs’ from a fast food outlet
he had a place in sheltered housing
but pitched a tent in the communal garden
spoiling the lawn and a spring veg. patch –
the residents ganged up on him
his stuff was binned –
his tent was torched
he was evicted –
and took to living in gothic crypts
and spook-shadow cemeteries of
Victorian churches proudly
fashioned ‘after Pugin’
a cemetery is less risky
than towpath camping
at the mercy of drunks
and passing strangers –
trips to A&E
guaranteed – or maybe drowning
one day he’ll wake in the hospital
or not wake up at all,
he may be missed,
mentioned briefly
‘seen wossname lately?’
a shrug and switch the subject
to footy, the weather,
the price of beer,
X Factor or Strictly
they’ll bury him
in a pauper’s grave,
his coffin smothered by
graveyard dirt
and a curate’s platitudes
for an anonymous soul,
‘known only to god’
Trevor spent a year in the local
psychiatric hospital
he liked it there – he had a comrade
they tended a garden patch
grew beans and cabbages
and duetted pop songs
whenever the mood was upon them
‘care in the community’
put the kybosh on that –
there’s no community,
nor care for Trevors,
with no one to love,
and no one to curse
except Uncle B.
(who may not be real)
and a mother to rail at –
who died of cancer and despair
when Trevor leaves us
someone will find a use for
his battered trainers,
jaunty brown bowler…
but think twice
about the trackie bottoms
and burn the balaclava.

© coolhermit 2023
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Hauntingly poignant and horribly accurate in a poetic way, of the tragedy of ‘ care in the community’ It really affected me for all the Trevors and their female counterparts thrown on the scrapheap of a non caring society that has lost its way.
Alison x

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