My Big Toe

Last time I stayed in hospital
I felt like such a fraud
It never would have happened
If I’d not been feeling bored

I took out my best needles
To try to string some beads
But dropped the thread under the bed
And crawling on my knees

Wasted almost half an hour
In a wholly futile search
To find the reel with only feel
Was never going to work

But giving up too hastily
In retrospect was worse
I shuffled back and heard a crack
Then hopped to muffled curse

For I’d stood upon the cushion
In which I kept my pins
The x-ray showed my poor big toe
Joint skewered, for my sins

They pulled it out with pliers
Having made my foot go numb
I hope that was the last time
I do something quite so dumb

Aspire, respire, perspire

Searching for beauty
In the crumbling pavements
The chickweed shoots
Bringing colour to each crack

Fishing for rainbows
In gutters pooled with oil
The water slick and dirty
As an inner-city fast-track

Squinting in sunlight
Huddled in a cheap coat
Thin layers for protection
Against the chill of springtime

Doze in back of buses
To dream up something better
Than another year of hardship
And a terminal decline