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The Priest - Streetwalker


Rusty Broadspear

 I fingered my dog collar, I wanted it off 

The street darkness clung to me,

So did the chilling night noises,

I stifled a nervous cough.


Muted devilish laughter stirred upwards

From a basement room.

My prayer book was sweaty wet,

And then I heard the scream


Of a military jet.

A flickering streetlamp just ahead

With a garland of rubbish sacks at its base.

The buildings were as black as the sky.


I passed a grimy window, framing a distorted face.

My footsteps took me to a junction

Where danger should have flashed in neon light

A deep black shadow moved from a shop doorway


And then took flight.

As black as a raven but this night was for bats

And stray cats, I said a prayer

And unexpectedly kicked a Coke can into the gutter


Uninvited thoughts came in speaking of despair.

This damp street was a haven for snails

That crunched beneath my feet

The sound was like treading on virgin snow.


The air around me smelt sickly sweet.

Something on the pavement spinning like a top,

I stopped, bent down and picked up a knife.

The blade was warm and sticky with blood,


Just a moment ago, this knife had taken a life.

It was then that I heard the sound of car engines,

One from ahead and one from behind.

They were going to crash, I knew it,


But they stopped beside me only to find


Me with the knife and dressed in tension and sweat.

The police whisked me off they’d got their man

I was grateful for the ride and the company

But it was then that my problems really began.

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