Spaceboy

A wedge of black hair between the blind and window,
he waits for mum to come back with the shopping bags
joining with the others in the kingdom under his bed.
He names the cats patrolling the bins after his teachers,
before they slide greased with night beyond teasing
to become a blip on his radar like a father or a bus home
or the spaceship that’s sailed out rudderless beyond Pluto,
a high tech rubbish tip loaded up with poems, speeches,
photos, binary codes and the chants of Navajo bird men
flapping about outer space as if they never left.
The full moon’s an unwashed plate and there’s an alien
in a jumpsuit and a helmet with pizza zapping the buzzer.
It’s time for their Friday treat and mum still not home.
His T-shirt says In Space No One Can Hear You Scream
but what if everything could, even your heart thumping,
even when you can’t cry because you can’t breathe?
And you know something in the doorbell’s dying again
because the delivery man is making the sound of a wasp
against a window, drifting away.
It’s time for their Friday treat and mum still not home.

 

Commended in the Ver Poets Competition 2015

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