The evening paper and the scuffers
brought revelation. Sammy wasn’t even
his name I discovered and the prayers
I’d offered were misplaced and useless
or somebody else had stolen salvation.
He wore Doc Martens, Ben Shermans
and a Harrington jacket but a uniform
wasn’t a suit of armour and a five-inch blade
punctured his stuffing, left him clutching
at nothing, writhing out of his element.
Dreams of vengeance were only ephemeral
and after all he was more lighthouse than candle;
a warning of rocks not a flame to follow.
I shredded Ben Shermans, buried Doc Martens
and denied all knowledge of a Keith.
Not a name you’d fashion into a religion
though I like to think he died for my sake.