You and I
In some other universe, you and I didn’t play football as kids.
We weren’t lucky enough to have Mr Walker as our teacher.
The team photograph doesn’t exist in this other place,
so people wouldn’t wonder why we looked so serious,
you and I.
Or maybe through some weirdness, we lost the cup final,
so the victory meal at the chippie would have been cancelled.
Or at least that Thursday would be different in some other way
and something else would have happened,
We might have stayed friends as we got older,
instead of brawling in the dust under a piano in the music room.
Maybe we’d have avoided Mr Postle and his plimsoll,
even decided to stay on in the sixth form;
done A levels and university.
I wouldn’t have become an apprentice and wasted five years
before going back to college to do something that felt right.
And you wouldn’t have died at sixteen,
asphyxiated by a conveyor belt,
while trying to earn a bit of summer cash on a farm,
wondering what to do with your life.
(Obsessed With Pipework)