Route 1

A Poem

By Alun Robert


I only wanted
a gasper ’cause big boys did:
those round the estate an’
movie stars from the States.

Made me wheeze an’ cough
tasted much like shit.
Wasn’t in the street gang
yet felt right cool though
didn’t feel too good
didn’t feel so bad
but ran out of puff
running from no one.

I only wanted
a spliff ’cause big boys did:
those round the den an’
celebs in the media.

Made me cough an’ choke
tasted worse than shit.
Was one of the coolest gang
hounded by the Gardaí
from street to street
from twilight to dawn
so ran out of puff
running from everyone.

I never wanted to shoot up.
Didn’t want to join in.
Didn’t have Euros apart
from thieving an’ dealing.

Made me choke an’ vomit
this was the real shit.
Was one of the wretched
hounded by the gang
from deal to deal
from twilight ’til dawn
then ran out of puff
running to my grave.

I didn’t want to go early.
Broke my folks’ hearts.
Said I was a good lad who
wouldn’t hurt a fly. But I did …