Detox Call

“Hello? Oh hello, yes I’m calling to see if there are any beds available?”

“Yes, I’ll hold, no problem.”

“No beds. Again?”

“What am I meant to do?”

“Keep calling back?”

“I’ve been calling back for days! You just say the same thing!”

“It’s difficult… Yeah, it is difficult. You don’t know how fuckin’ difficult this is.”

“I wish swearing was all I had to worry about.”

“She’s ready this morning. She just needs another chance.”

“I know she didn’t finish last time.”

“She ran away because she was scared.”

“I know there’s a lot of people waiting!”

“Well what am I supposed to do? What the fuck am I supposed to do?”

“I do keep ringing back. But what about me?”

“You’re not listening!”

“What about me?!”

“I’m twenty six years old. How is this my job?” 

“Tell you what, what if I ran away? Then what?”

“Well what if I just disappeared? Phoned you to pick her up. Said that’s it. I’m done. I’m gone.”

“I’ll tell you what’d happen. She’d be on the street! She’d be dead or locked up or God knows what.”

“I can’t do this any more.” 

“I know. There’s nothing you can do. There’s nothing anyone can do is there?.”

“Sorry, it’s not your fault. You just work there.”

“I know. Sorry.”

“Yeah, I’ll call back tomorrow.”


Walking down the canal path
On the old bridge two boys roam
Target practice, what a laugh!
God, I wish we’d walked down the road

A shot rings out, a pain spreads out
Can’t tell if it’s cold or hot
From the opposite path I hear a shout
He wants to know who he shot

“Did I get ya?”, one shouts as I stay calm
I tell him he missed the spot
But he has a gun and we are unarmed
I don’t fancy another shot

Walk home in pain, keeping regular gait
That lead pellet caused a right mess
I can’t hide it, and now things escalate
What happens next is anyone’s guess

Steven Shorrock (2019)