The Festive Spike by Timothy Cottingham

First published in Readers Choice Vote 09 by

His homeboy Dav, or Jam, or some other
Likely scumbag, has made him a shank.
A dull blade, six inches, serrated –
It's a Christmas present of sorts.
He is feeling quite the big man.

Quarrel over drugs, or turf, or girls.
Someone has pissed off someone else,
I suppose. And now from this time forth,
His thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth.
Same story.

And in some far-off neon corner,
Or sordid alleyway comes another
Scream of anguish, snuffing the glowing
Warmth of sulphur lit streets. It lies
Sprawled, like something from an abattoir

Slaughter floor, on the sanguine pavement.
By tomorrow it will already
Be gone; replaced by familiar
Pallid outline and plastic tape,
Festive spike now gift wrapped in polythene.

And another skeleton goes to fill
The ranks on that marble orchard

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