Remember Remember

Sitting on a swing, he blows smoke rings into the frost
The damp cigarette his last, he checks his pockets for more
Fumbling fingers explore emptiness, no funds to bear the cost
Of another of his abhorrent habits he tries hard to ignore

Thoughts of nicotine supplies are blasted by his father's call
"Guy! GUY!!! Kick the f**king ball back, you idiot!" he barks
He pulls his awkward body forward and lumbers to the ball
And kicks wildly to the sound of sniggers and bitchy remarks

His cheeks flush, sweat trickles, anger rises in his throat like bile
His father looks at him, his face a blend of disgust and disbelief
Then he turns swiftly and dismissively towards his team, all smiles
"Useless idiot," he quips and the team laugh cruelly with their chief

Sixteen years old and he still hasn't learned how to respond
He wears his pain like a badge and no longer bothers to converse
No hope of father/son connection; they have gone way beyond
The point of no return, no possibility or hope to reverse

He fingers his swollen cheek, a painful reminder of his gift
The team kindly decided to present to him after last week's game
Away from prying eyes, down in the subway, heading to his shift
They cornered him like a frightened dog and left him black-eyed and ashamed

Limping home, he arrived to no sympathy from Coach, no offers of protection
Instead, he bestowed his own fatherly gift to his son that night
His battered ears heard only abuse; his splintered heart suffered only rejection
Bruises on bruises, his soul withered and began to give up the fight

The following night at his shift, he was greeted by his only friend
Robert; the only glimmer of hope in his dark, insignificant life
A south-London boy, well-connected, confident, on trend
His roots firmly planted in a suburb where gang culture was rife

Robert left him with clear instructions; "It's time to fight back!"
"Take no s**t from anyone!" New confidence he then found
Later, a habitual snooper, he shamefully rifled through Robert's pack
For a keepsake from his unknowing idol; and his whole world turned around

Smoky rings hover again in the frosty air as he pulls his hoody tighter
He thinks ahead to tonight's Team Firework Party; a wry smile appears
It is time to even the score, he thinks, time for me to be a fighter
And put an end to the Big Game and let go of all my life-long fears

Invisible once more, he turns his back as if in final surrender
And begins the long walk home, to return to his new, exciting toy
The toy he stole from Robert's pack, an aptly-named, Colt Defender
The gun of a man, a warrior, the brave; he would no longer be a boy

Later that night at the mirror, he searches deep into his reflection
For visible change, but finds just acne and stubble, no sign of new-found strength
One hour's countdown to party-time; when enemies will form a collection
And, no doubt, join his poor-excuse for a father to ridicule him at length

But remember, remember, the fifth of November
There will be more than fireworks at the party tonight
Keep a close eye on the outsider, the weakling not allowed as a member
Watch your back! He is ready and able to fight

The weakling finishes combing his hair and pulls his coat from the hook
He tucks his new toy into his pocket and zips up his hoody as cover
And turns around to his bedroom once more, to take just a final look
At a room that now seems alien to him, as if it belonged to another

He steps into the chilly November air and catches his breath
Walking ten feet tall, all-powerful, he feels nothing but purity and bliss
Footsteps on air, he is reborn into life, no fear of pain or death
Without a backwards glance, he heads into the beckoning abyss

G A M E   O V E R 

Listen to me narrate

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