Journal » Trout 11 » Unleavened Bevan [Nick Ascroft]
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Unleavened Bevan

Nick Ascroft

At seven years old, Bevan,
The head head-chopper-offer
At the Pukeuri Works,
Had seen himself somewhere else
In thirty years. Prison.
He was going to be Mr. Pencil the Persil,

An indispensable supplier & disperser
Of anything--utterly invisible to screws,
He'd get anyone out
In a laundry bag & by some ex-henchman
On the book bus anything in
Under the trolley.

A professional lifer--the guru
Of B Block--brought in
To sprinkle his little enzyme fingers
Into any ungainly situation, which,
For a fee, would dust off meticulous,
Slickly innocuously inconspicuous.

It all came back in a glint flashing
& Flickering off a nick in his cleaver
Which had only last week taken
Another hunk out of his left thumb.
& The thumbs that had got him
To what he'd become.

At eleven he'd swollen & unfolded out
One limb at a time until his hands
Were as big & round as
Any other boy's head & his back
Made a pimple out of his schoolbag.
He could barely hold a pencil

Without it shattering, let alone be one--
Sketching & erasing up
A corridor after lock down.
But in the sudden stare
Of another dead cow-head it struck him,
That in this warren of carcasses &

Corridors & traumatised butchers,
Where the blood & old
Cow cud gathered on the sleeves,
By the accident of
His substantial stature & circumstance
He'd landed in his old dream-home

& Never known.
Here, up at his overly-hairy height
He was innocuous,
A huge man in an
Offal-splattered apron was exactly
What everyone expected.

Bevan was in the heaven of seven again.
He could set up shop in here--
Smuggle people out in the skin skip,
Dig a tunnel to the canteen,
Slip a few square shanks
To Rex the health inspector

For an anthrax scare.
His big globes of eyes got all
Blurry & bleary, the insight left him
Pale with dizziness
--He cut a decapitating incision into a Friesian--
Pukeuri was as beautiful as a jail of prisoners.


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© Copyright 2003 Nick Ascroft & Trout.