[You] Don’t Make The Empress [Card] Wait [She Ain’t No Option]

Heading off into the city centre
on an early weekday evening
with Jed Ledge and Dave.
We came mooching our way
up the Red Light end of town
on the look-out for Jackie D
who had just been released
from HMP Eastwood Park…
but, she was already tricking.
Taking the bend by the KFC
… an old homeless wino,
sat on the deck in a piss-puddle
growled a light off one of us.
Dave reached down his clipper
and asked, as payment,
for one sentence of life advice.
“Don’t make the Empress wait.”
I was the only one who got it…
and he winked at my knowing,
as we carried on our merry way.
“What the hell does that mean?”
asked Jed, seeing my sad smile.
“I can’t explain it, mate…
it’s one of those bad mistakes
you’ve got to learn for yourself.”

Paul Tristram is a widely published Welsh writer who deals in the Lowlife, Outsider, and Outlaw genres.  He wrote his first poem as a teenager following his release from the (Infamous) Borstal ‘HMP Portland’, and he has been creating Literary Terrorism ever since. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.