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