Thou art indeed just, Lord … but why did that boy I met with the shaven head –
he’d kicked over the litter bin and was jumping about as if it were a bed
of dry leaves in the park – wear such a manic grin?
He distributed the stuff as fast as I tried to put it back in,
and so we struggled, (literally, in my case, given the state of my back,) youth
versus age, until he tired of my empty threats and mild reproof
and went off with his mates to upset the bin in the next street, no doubt,
or ring the bells and bang on the windows of folk too scared to come out …
What’s the point, Lord, of the work I do? Why shouldn’t I despair
as this boy with dismal CAT score and prison-ready hair
goes capering in his Doc Martens through the civic beds
while people whose hair goes thin or grey upon their heads
question the whereabouts of his parents? I question that, too,
but more pressing, Lord, I question the whereabouts of you.