Snot-billed brats in playsuits lump about
in ball-pens, squiggle through tubes
to squishy, mats the laugh or scream again.
Others chew biscuits, or writhe like dogs in prams.

Enough to put me off my carrot pressé,
my hunk of crumble cake. Then a two-foot scruff
with saucer eyes waddles to my knee,

fingers his nose as if uncorking it,
and asks me plainly, sweetly, who I am.

Perhaps I’m not the man I’d like to be.

© by Rory Waterman

(TLS June 17 2011 – Copyright © The Times Literary Supplement Limited 2011)

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