Men I Have Known
One man’s neck ran off at forty-five degrees,
looking as if he was holding a conversation with The Invisible Man.
I never spoke to him.
I worked with a man who told me his baldness
was caused by FBI agents drugging him
on a boat from New Zealand to the UK.
Another was a compulsive liar,
‘He couldn’t lie straight in bed,’
someone said of him.
I knew a beatific priest.
He saw goodness in the darkest souls.
No-one ever spoke ill of him.
A man stole from his work mates,
had a leg blown off in WW2.
His father said, ‘Pity it wasn’t his head’.
I have known men who could not take any more,
never said a word to anyone. Lost to us.
They have stayed firmly in my heart.
Tom Kelly is a north-east of England poet, short story writer and playwright. He has had eleven books of poetry, short stories and a play published in as many years. His new collection THIS SMALL PATCH has been recently published and re-printed by Red Squirrel Press.