Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

Two poems by Richie McCaffery

       Photo by Shapelined on Unsplash 




Each week it was the same –
the PE teacher would pick
his captains for the football game
and each week they were the same.

It always struck me as odd, how
the subject was called ‘Games’
when there was no fun in it at all
for the fat and fumbling like me.

Each week it was the same –
the same sequence of names
whittled down to me and Daniel
though he was more desirable.

Whichever captain who got me
would scuff and stomp like a tup
but he was stuck. Vice versa –
there’s two sides to persona non grata.

Teacher’s dead and time’s been called
but I see those bright captains in town
now and then – older, fatter, faded
and all I cared about is my own goal.


    Inventory of scars


Your skin is a map of where you’ve been
and it’s tedious to boast but I must
have hovered in harbour most of my life.

I’ve only two silvery cicatrices, on my thumb.
One gained as a pissed student slamming
a beer bottle on the bar and it shearing.

The other from a cheese cutter at a posh
party put on by my snobby ex-in-laws.
The scars are less than a centimetre apart –

one a watermark of the wild old me
who was nearly killed off by the other me,
scarred by trying too hard to fit in.