GUEST POST // Scars and Barbed Wire by Tony Mutton

I remember the history of my first scar,
You don’t forget bullying and barbed wire
Chased by a group of Catholic and non Catholic boys,
There was little difference between bullies in those days,
They all ran fast in the thrill of the hunt
Cornered at the base of a once insurmountable chain mail fence
Fear can make a young boy do extraordinary things
Climbing the 12 feet and flipping over the top
Barbed wire hung rusty on the other side of the fence
Careless workmanship an age old story
I remember the feeling as barb caught skin and
Still visualise the trail of bright red running down my leg
The run home was fast and bloody, my grey sock turning red
I tried to sneak in quietly through the back door
But an ever vigilant mother could not be outsmarted
I’m sure I lied, never telling her that I was being chased
Life was easier to live if the bullies felt you never told
Bullying is like racism, it’s not in your genes, it’s learned
What I want to know is what were the teachers teaching
Nothing good comes with a serving of barbed wire

© All rights reserved 2021


when the morning comes
i’ll yearn for transcendence again
tho’ the days keep piling all around
but before i know it i’ll be choking on fire
the fulsome hate behind your words

we’re not the object of your resentment
your feelings are way too big for our insides
we’re wayfaring strangers, not obliging quintains
so tilt at yourself please and leave us alone
don’t make us breach like worn out wineskins

is this what you want, to slut shame us?
fine, if it helps then you’re the higher one
and we are the weak, tawdry, ignoble
so when the morning comes you’ll have won
and i’m sure this knowledge will have warmed your bed

© All rights reserved 2016