By Paul Farley 

I’d look up to them looming on street corners,
or down on them at night through my bedroom blinds,
crashing home from the Labour Club, mad drunk.
After a while I decided they must be unhappy.

And this didn’t tally at all with my view of their world.
Adults could float through days sole sovereigns
of everything around them, could pass through walls
of childish silence, or just take off in the Sunbeam.

So why did I find them at hometime slumped in their chairs
or throwing their tea up the wall? Why did they cry
on their own downstairs with the whole house listening in
or plead softly to people who weren’t even there?

You think you know all the answers at that age.
You can’t wait to grow up and sort them out, then go
to live in Mayfair or Singapore, wear a smoking jacket
and drink gin slings all day, like real writers do.


From Paul Farley’s Selected Poems. Read 'Laws of Gravity' from the collection here








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