mates from the estates ride past on mountain bikes and scooters 

imitation Gucci bad-boys firing finger-pistol shooters 

going: c’mon Callum, sack it off – school won’t teach you nothin’  

and though he smiles and laughs along     beneath it all he’s bluffing 


he’s seen it with his brothers and a half-remembered dad 

he’s seen the blue lights flashing on some social worker’s pad 

so he packs his bag each morning and gives his nan a kiss 

solid in the knowledge that he wasn’t born for this 


and waits until the bikes      the shouts      the scooters 


then walks into a future somewhere far away from here 

Copyright: from Let’s Chase Stars Together (Bloomsbury Education, 2022), © Matt Goodfellow 2022, used by permission of the author and publisher.

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