He lays in the empty French bath

with his torn suit and dirty boots on

a rolled up cigarette hanging from his cut lip

making him wince when he tries that endearing smile of his

in the cracked shaving mirror.

Paul Kelly on vinyl hisses and jumps

the aroma from the lavender field outside the window

penetrating the stale booze and the memories

of a night that went predictably wrong

the moment he fell off the red rusty bike

trying to avoid Jocasta

and one too many shots of Dutch courage.

Bad luck in the right place at the wrong time

a word or two out of place

a punch in the face

a shotgun blasts

he pulls his jacket over his head

but it’s only to scare the birds

away from the grapes.

She sits on the ledge staring at him

like he should know better

than the last time

they crossed paths.

© Ash Cheyne 2019

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