“While girls my age were toddling in heels” and other poems by Ruth Elwood

There’s no place like…

 
In the life God never bestowed
my home would be more than a crate
residing on the side of the road
it’s with you and her
puppy, running for treats
not you judging me
alone on the concrete.
 
An age has passed; left broken by your mum
you look at me now, drunken scum
never knowing
I could have been your father.
 
Your first hero
taught you to read, write
push you on the swing
 
but she didn’t want me
or the ring.
 

While girls my age were toddling in heels

 
My mind drifting elsewhere –
like on saving for my own set of wheels
scanning milk and jam by day,
it was the nights that sent cash my way.
promo and waitress for “Al’s Betting Joint”
“Come to Al’s bring your pals”
or “ Would you like some ice?”
“interested in rolling the dice?”
 
Shop money simple stable,
Al ‘s nightly, radical all under the table.
 
A moral battle in my mind,
but the angel always lagged behind.
 
Till the last week of July.
Galway Races, most hectic time of the year
incapable of getting through a shift without the fear.
 
They looked at me like prey
travelled in packs
drunken creepy men
still in the slacks
whistling , insulting, groping
each trying their arm
loudly hoping
their winnings
would include me.
 
That car had three doors
the mild scent of spilt fried rice
but I never allowed a set of furry dice
 
I’m still getting to grips with
how people can look at me like a stack of chips.
 

Insomnia

 
I’ve had enough
losing this fight
in too deep
can’t sleep
 
wondering what could be worse
feeling mutilated, deflated
another gone in the hearse.
 
It’s really a disgrace
the only ones comprehending
wear plastic bags on their faces
 
Where to for help ?
Totally numb
how can they slash this budget
by a seven figure sum
 

Time Bomb

You were the one I could always trust
                           Yet now this friendship is rust
                           Maybe it’s since we both changed,
                           Or possibly after my diagnosis your priorities
                           rearranged.
                           I came to you tears in my eyes, vulnerable bare
                           Despite the contoured fake smile
                           It was obvious you didn’t care.
                           So here I am after falling down
                           Begging for company, comfort, a friend anything
                           While you stand high and mighty wearing the crown.
                           I guess it took the hard way to learn my lesson
                           You want a friend for photos and to like your posts
                           Nothing real just followers like ghosts.
                           As I try to rebuild taking it slow 
                           There’s something I want you to know
                           Being “fab” make-up and selfies will all fade
                           But you’ll always be the bitch 
                           Who treated me like a grenade. 

While girls my age were toddling in heels and other poems are © Ruth Elwood

Ruth Elwood is an eighteen year old Galwegian native. She attends a creative writing class for beginners taught by Kevin Higgins. She has read twice at the Over The Edge public readings. One of her poems was published in a new digital magazine The Rose. She is currently on a gap year and is hoping to study Arts with Creative Writing this September. 
 
The Rose