Alison Cassidy

Rookie (6th August,1945 / Melbourne, Australia)

Filthy Phil - Poem by Alison Cassidy

His broken face was patched
(a motorbike nearly killed him years ago) .
His crooked eyes squinted
through filthy glasses.
A Temple Bar always hung on his lower lip.
He must have been fifty.
I was thirteen.

His wife had died some weeks before,
horribly, of lung cancer.
He took to visiting the family.
He stayed too long,
He drank too much.
He and dad got on really well.
They talked about racing cars.
Mum said 'Poor Old Phil. He's lonely.'

Once he took us all to dinner.
He wore patent leather shoes.
He danced with me - sublimely -
foxtrot, quickstep, waltz.
He moved like Fred Astaire.

Then one stinking hot December night,
he drove David and I
to the old stone lookout
at Kangaroo Ground.
The view was stunning.
The 'lights of Melbourne' twinkled all around.

Later, as we felt our way down the tower steps
in the narrow dark,
he pressed himself
hard against me,
opened his slimy mouth
and poked his slimy tongue
deep into my throat.

I pushed him off and ran
back to the car.
On the way home,
he slid his hand
across the front seat.
David didn't notice.

Next week, he rang -
Could he take the kids camping?
So I had to tell.
Dad said 'I'll have a word.
It won't happen again.'
And it didn't.

Comments about Filthy Phil by Alison Cassidy

  • Shane Clawson (3/10/2008 9:31:00 PM)

    A narrative poem and with a lesson to learn ' don't befriend a lonely widower'. (Report) Reply

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  • (9/21/2007 2:10:00 AM)

    Allie, I remember this one well; it struck me deeply at the time. On rereading after you have edited it, it only gets better - 'better' meaning more striking of course, more vile. You tell about it in almost detached, quasi-objective manner. The ending, showing an absolute trust in a father who acts promptly, is touching. An eloquently penned narration of something which, as I suggested before, probably happens far more often than the population at large is aware. t x (Report) Reply

  • (9/17/2007 11:24:00 AM)

    Really succinct, concretely and simply told. A good cautionary tale for girls! (Report) Reply

  • (6/4/2007 8:27:00 AM)

    Quick narrative flow and simple language used, potraying an emotional atmosphere seamlessly. A poem that will strike someone's heart upon reading it. (Report) Reply

  • Melvina Germain (2/4/2007 12:59:00 AM)

    Yes, they are very good at doing things right in front of others and no one sees due to the fact no one suspects something this disgusting from their wonderful friend or associate. Parents and those that want to protect children need to know what signs to watch out for. Those signs will be recorded in my next poem on Pedophiles. Excellent poem Alison, Thankyou---Melvina (Report) Reply

  • (10/13/2006 12:41:00 PM)

    Sadly there is no obvious signs that someone is like this, if there were some sort of insight or prior warning then at least our Children would stand a chance,
    Also another sad fact has come to light that many innocent people are accused when they have never had any such intention
    All lies in the ballance of understanding, don't be too quick to accuse and yet we still have a need to find out what is real
    Your case sounds to me, to be only too real, I am so sorry to hear that there are those
    ill-minded people out there who need every bit as much help as those that they have hurt
    Love duncan X
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/1/2006 8:21:00 AM)

    I want to hug that 13 yr. old you and make it 'all right' again.... Of course, for a young one, nothing is ever quite the same again. Through gritted teeth I say, I hope that your Dad had more than just a word with this creep. Thank you for reminding me that I need to have a good talk with my 13 yr. old girl... Love you, Esther (Report) Reply

  • Frank James Ryan Jr...fjr (7/30/2006 2:12:00 AM)


  • (7/23/2006 5:29:00 AM)

    I see an honest soul and sad murmur..........a very pathetic portrait (like seeing the face in a shattered mirror) .This resembles me the movie 'The sundays & sybelle'
    An elderly person who goes to an orphanage and having an afffair......There are ups & downs in the life.........a true nature?
    (Report) Reply

  • (7/23/2006 5:25:00 AM)

    Very powerful words Alison thanks for being brave enough to share this the world.

    (Report) Reply

  • (7/23/2006 3:54:00 AM)

    Wow Alison you told this so well. I could feel how you would feel as a young girl. Isn't is amazing how blind those around such events can be? I've heard many stories like this but ever one is always as shocking as if it were the first story. I think more of these stories should be shared and that they could even do well as part of school curriculum. (Report) Reply

  • (7/23/2006 3:38:00 AM)

    i think it happend in some form or the various levels of severity... to almost everybody on earth...boy or girl...learning to protest...saying no...keeping quiet...scarring...depends on the mental strength of the would be best to talk to our children about the acceptable limits of social (Report) Reply

  • (7/23/2006 3:29:00 AM)

    Intriguing piece Alison. The title poses a question that all the emotive aspects, which the descriptions convey, answer almost as an automatic response. Any 'normal' person would be aghast. There is the deeper issue here. Was this ugly old man really a paedophile or was he just that lonely and desperate (not that such would be justification for his actions) . I do not know and media stereotypes often blind us. A thought provoking piece, finely crafted. Thank you. (Report) Reply

  • (7/23/2006 2:46:00 AM)

    AAA, I think this happens more frequently than is known either because at such a tender age the recipient doesn't diagnose it, or for 'fear of telling'. The end of this story is a relief.... you got off lightly. You tell the whole of the tale, the seemingly joyous bits and not just the 'dirty pervert bit', with your usual fine craftsmanship. Thank you for posting. t x (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, July 23, 2006

Poem Edited: Wednesday, August 18, 2010

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