On the Subject of Belts



He kept his, warm,
under the shoulder of his tweed jacket,
and when he brought it out
what scared was how
it held its shape,
a leather-thick boomerang,
ready tae straighten you oot.
And he’d batter it down on your palms
but worse,
on wrists,
or halfway up your arms.
and promise with a grin
“this’ll hurt you much more than it hurts me”


His pal along the corridor
had a wee cupboard on the wall
next to the blackboard.
with his belts of assorted thicknesses
dished out
according to
gravity of crime,
and blackness of mood,
or whim.


And a lesson
in performance.
The tawse with its tails
laid out on the bench
salted and peppered,
for its the season o revenge,
as this hunchback hurls
full circle down on you
and his tilting body
reminds you of
and stones rollin away.


2 thoughts on “On the Subject of Belts

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