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The Broken Nosed Boy

Updated: Jun 11, 2021

IMAGE: A painting with red boxes on grey cobbles.

The broken-nosed boy

doesn’t own many books.

He does scan the papers

about budgetary cuts

but they don’t mean very much

when you cannot even breathe.

He just wonders if the cameras

parked up and down his street

might put faces to the feet

that stamped on his face

but the nice policeman

dealing with his case

is now on holiday

so he’ll just have to wait.

And the size 9 waiting list

to rebuild his crumpled sinus

is totally unaffected by

the figures in the ‘minus’

column of its NHS Trust

so he’ll have to trust to hope

but if I were him,

I wouldn’t hold my breath.

He doesn’t know his attackers

but they clearly know him

from his turned-up tight jeans.

His shoes and his self-care

made him fairgame to kick

from here to God knows where.

England’s new engineers,

these men of no letters

are blowing up bridges

and anything else

that brings people together.

They are taking back their land

hand over fist. Top of their list

are the different. Wild-eyed,

pissed on power, their acrid shower

has become an ocean

sloshing at the shores

of a very small island

marooned in the jaws

of a present in which Boz

would shake his dear old head.

So the broken-nosed boy

goes back to his flat,

pays his bills as best he can,

re-checks his windows,

locks his doors against the world

that wee bit tighter

and paints his walls a bright colour

as they close in around him.


Artwork ‘Stamped’ by CLAIRE TULPPO

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