The 2River View 16.4 (Summer 2012)

Peter Street

Hotel Room

for all Night Porters

She cries her memories,
a party girl remembering
her friend she found dead
in a Bolton bathroom

after a night out       pissed
and pissed again    trying
with every breath and breath

of her body and soul
to stop her going
but couldn’t

now one year on
It’s the turn of her young apprentice
his first office party
to be pissed and pissed again

slumped over the shower  basin
his face flat against the anti-slip ribs
where hundreds of customers have stood

washing whatever down
the plug hole
where his red stomach lining

is now stuck to his face
she sobers up,
stacks her tears behind her

takes control
puts him on his back
and breathes and breathes

him back to life

Another Sideline—1957

for Thomas Edgar Street

Two shillings
for every dead dog or cat
run over  poisoned even shot

would be waiting with heads on
heads off       maybe other bits
missing          every time

my nine years entered
the fire-hole where sulphur
smacked me in the nose

Dad would clang open the
incinerator door   turn
pick up Rover or Tabby

he kept separate from the coal

with a clean cloth
he would first wipe off
any dirt or blood

then giving them a last stroke
he’d throw them in
and I would watch

someone’s pet melt into nothing

Peter Street has worked as a gravedigger/exhumer, head chef, youth worker, prison tutor, and war poet during the conflict in Bosnia. He has published five collections of poetry. Peter Street at Disability Arts Onlinecontact