Top Hat Lane’s Furthest Lamppost

They found him dangling
by a knotted, old, dirty cravat
she had given him, with smiles
and kisses, five Christmases before.
Swaying slightly widdershins
above a puddle of piss the shape of Wales.
A jackdaw squawking the alarm
from just above his right shoulder.
As Milkmen churn their early hours
and the petrichor steamed off his Crombie coat.
He had climbed an invisible yet mental
and emotional makeshift ladder
up and into the waiting room next door.
Those tattooed hands
which had once fought battles
and lovingly cradled babies
now hung limply by his side.
They found a broken crucifix
inside his waistcoat pocket
next to a folded police station bail form
and a lock of woven Celtic red hair.
He was cut down by the Butcher
and laid in the gutter by the side of the road.
Until the horses had eaten their oat breakfast
and the Undertaker a signature to spare.

Paul Tristram is a widely published Welsh writer, who’s currently up to his elbows in Magic, and long may it remain this way. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.