Crime, Non Fiction, On Petherton Road, 3:30 am, 24th of July

 In the morning I walk

Up one side of the street

In the evening I sometimes

Try the other, but

Sometimes not, habit grates.

 

Half 3 am is like the strip of

Grass that runs down the middle

Of my street, a place

For robbers to walk on

Avoiding dog-shit, just like

The day would, carrying

Bats, ready for the night.

 

His hood was down, his

Head was out, his walk

Was fast, his bat was

Long beneath his sleeve,

I didn’t see it or his accomplice.

 

I looked on, walking

Two were upon me

Bees out of air, with

Stings I didn’t believe in-

Would I get hurt if I

Wouldn’t find my purse?

 

‘Give us everything,’ they said

Like kids for sweets, ‘or whatever

You’ve got,’ I took them seriously,

 Like a teacher playing along.

I threw some first class

Stamps in with the other goodies.

 

They didn’t think the stamps

Were kind or funny but bless

Him, he stuffed them back

In my little red bag, lips

Open, bemused.

 

They were blind to my lap-top

They ran off – like bats

Out of Hackney, I walked

On, thank god or the greatness

For twisting my fate just

Enough to wake me,

No pinch to my heart.

Next time I’ll take a taxi,

There’ll be no blood from

Me for bats dressed up in

Tracksuits.

 

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