Ron Of The Cut - Poem by Francesca Johnson
Ron doesn’t actually live on the cut,
He just travels back and forth a lot,
Chatting to anyone who will listen
To his alcohol-soaked speech.
He dresses in black
And has a black bike
On which he balances precariously
Whenever he deigns to mount it
Which isn’t very often
Because it has a habit
Of slipping sideways.
It's a bad bike!
He’s well-known along the cut.
He’s been there for as many years
As my mother could remember,
Bless her soul.
Ron laughs a lot
Especially at the slogans on the front
Of women’s teeshirts.
He found mine hilarious
And kept repeating
“French Connection” over and over
As if were the funniest thing in the world
And in the end
I thought it was, too.
His eyes will wander to empty spaces
And distract him, and make him
Answer questions which weren’t asked.
As he rolls a spliff he apologises
That he hasn’t enough to share
But will share the contents of his wallet,
His ragged driving licence, other documents,
All laid out neatly on the top of the boat,
A process he does several times each visit.
Ron will stay as long as his beer lasts
Or until I have a job to do below decks.
I can usually think of something!
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