The Last Laugh

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The Last Laugh

 

You got caught out once,

sitting on the top deck of the bus

and gripping the metal bar

that ran across the top

of the seat in front.

 

He was bragging to his mates

and, although you couldn’t see his face,

you could see the dirty straw hair

and the muck ingrained in his neck

and you imagined him winking.

 

He turned round slowly,

looked you in the face

and like a rattlesnake striking

slammed his hands down

on your hands.

 

It hurt -

not your hands,

your pride.

It burned

like hot coals.

 

You got caught out twice,

playing cricket down at the lekkers

and you saw him coming, strutting

at the front of acolytes

who egged him on.

 

The baseball boot

made a sound like wet fish

being slammed against

a Formica top,

as it connected with your arse.

 

It hurt -

they laughed

and you let it go

because you didn’t want your friends

to be dragged in to a fight.

 

Fifty Years Pass.

 

Last night

I saw the freckled,

wrinkled wreck

he had become -

and smiled.

 

The hurt eased,

carried with me

all these years

as I had grown

and he had shrunk.

 

His eyes

followed me

from the bar

and as I passed

he flinched

because he had recognised me

like I had recognised him

and he expected payback

and in a way

he got it…

bullyingchildhoodgrowingpay backthe last laugh

◄ The Father's Curse

Gone ►

Comments

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Jemima Jones

Tue 9th May 2017 17:36

great to see you back Ian.Loved the poem.Thank you.Jemima.

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