The Muppet Wing

I enjoyed Basic Training, it was competitive,
and there was also a strong sense
of camaraderie which went along with it.
I worked the Day Shift in the Main Prison first,
full of myself, dignified in my crisp, new uniform,
and the jangling keys at my waist-side
gave me a justified sense of purpose and control.
After a week, I started to view things differently…
sure, there were bullies, junkies and villains,
but, I saw more and more ‘Victims’
fools to themselves, who when pushed to the limits
had made disastrous mistakes and emotional decisions.
Then, a couple of months of ‘Slowly Losing Heart’
they gave me Night Shift over on The Muppet Wing.
Just three hours into my unsettling new Walk,
and Karen The Psycho, doing eight and a half years
for the attempted murder of a Scout Leader
who had systematically abused her three sons…
found out that her eldest had hung himself,
aged fourteen, in a Residential Care Home.
I have never heard PAIN like that before in my life,
and I used to be an ambulance driver,
I am shaking and crying just remembering it…
her soul was on fire, she ripped a radiator from the wall
and used it to bludgeon her own left foot with.
I quit the very next morning, practically run from there,
refusing to work the Two Weeks Notice…
I’m now on Prozac, in Therapy on Thursday afternoons,
and spend the sunny days landscape gardening
in the quiet, old folk bungalow part of the borough.

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.