Locked gate with heavy rusted lock,
Metal fence with chain link,
One section broken, wire opens back like a flap of skin,
Allows us to duck in.
Cement columns holding up the highway,
The overpass, dirt floor and vandalised walls.
Someone has a fire burning in a metal barrel.
The kids stand around nervously warming their hands in the strange half light.
Cigarettes and laughter, stories of sex and drugs
I watch mesmorised as two older kids kiss,
The girl has dark hair and black eyes.
A firecracker is lit and explodes in the night,
The sound of traffic above is a roar
And the night runs on like sharp needles and broken bottles.
A homeless man was murdered here
John, the school’s football hero,
Sneers and takes his three friends away.
But we sit by the fire on the cold cement ledge
And talk about Mickey and how he and Wade were arrested one night
And someone throws another bottle and we watch it explode into shards.
Tom and Ben would have to sleep in the abandoned shop on main street
Because they’d been kicked out of home.
They sit apart and look thin and proud.
Jenny’s mother has a new boyfriend and she can’t stand him
Sandy is pregnant and Mat wants her to abort it,
Robert is gay
And his boyfriend will be here soon.
Friday night, winter, thoughts of girls and grown up jobs,
No money to spend and stolen beer.