Bad families are coloured red;
to discover what’s above their heads,
take the northbound carriageway
and exit any junction that you like.
First left and on until the rain begins,
the rooftops blink through yellow fog
and for fuck’s sake is the only form of prayer.
You’re there. Where drug dealing, phone stealing
bandits on benefits are having it large
on stolen premises; the ones we left
for dead, for photos, for memories.
Red is for arousal, red for arrears.
Red are the shamefaced burning ears.
They’re always skint, they smoke and drink.
We can’t accept the proffered cup,
it’s chipped and stained for months and months.
We’re coloured blue, a sober hue, sadness due
to shakes and frowns, to looking down
on kids who don’t talk proper grammar,
on parents speaking even badder.
There ought to be a thesaurus
thrown in to help us fosterers.
They come with shits and nits and worms
and soon they’re itching to return.
We’re Sunday best, a trip to church,
a teacher’s words scratched white on black
and I have come to hate my class.
Ray Miller has 1 wife and 8 children. How he wishes those numbers were reversed.