Andy Brookes

Gold Star - 39,170 Points (11 May 1954 / Macclesfield)

A Prodigal Son? - Poem by Andy Brookes

That day had started ordinary enough
How was I to know?
Something just happened.
The diversion seemed automatic,
Not unexpected.

One minute on the way to the work.
The next I was gazing out across the the rolling hills,
Lulled by the rocking of the train, so,
London here I come.

No regrets, no turning back,
The break clean and bloodless.
Nothing to keep me, no family,
Few friends.

I wonder. What if I had stayed?
What if I had followed my set routine?
Well life wouldn't have been so interesting for a start.

I have come home for a visit,
At least for a time.
No fatted calf for my homecoming
Or bunting for a returning hero;
Local man made good.

The town looks gray and tired.
Shop fronts boarded.
The empty eyes of mills sombre,
Crumbling post-industrial wrecks.
Lethargy seems to seep from the people's pores.
Lives of dead dreams, smothered ambitions.

Faces come and go some I recognise,
Others vague.
A sadness seeps into my bones
I, the returning escapee.

But I flee, as quickly as I came,
Feeling a sense of guilt, grief too.
The thought comes unbidden,
I will never return.
For I do not fit, my roots lie else where.

So with a sense of loss I think, with relief,
London here I come.

Topic(s) of this poem: life

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Poem Submitted: Friday, October 23, 2015

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