Oliver & Anna

for Beginners

imagine a disposable razor
on the oldest face you know,
deteriorated and dropped,
the sun's shadow in the cropped crowd

               we forget he's there sometimes, they'll say.
               he always shaves on a Sunday, they'll pray.
               the dog died not long back, some'll whisper.

imagine a week's worth of beard
down a plug hole, some bits black
some bits gray,
some bits there 'cos he pressed a little hard that day

                              we forgot he was there, they'll say.
                              he always shaved on a Sunday, they'll pray.
                              only a week ago he went, some'll whisper.

imagine no one holding your hand
down the stairs, across the road, into
cheap 24 hour corner shops,
imagine no one holding your hand when it matters,

                                               or mattered.