Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Walking Wounded By Bobby Stevenson

Sally Anne leaves the house at number 17 with her heart almost bursting through her chest.

She’s pregnant, ‘with child’ as she read somewhere - just like the girl who was on the cover of  that magazine – Sally’s really really happy, she’s already deciding how her new home will look. She only found out while her Mum was making the toast and tea and the little line turned blue.

At number 22, the curtains twitch as Sam Lot watches his little distraction, Sally, walking down the street - bless her. Tonight’s the night he’s going to have to tell her it’s over; his wife is beginning to suspect.

The Hammerston twins, Fred and Irene at number 31 leave together, saying ‘good morning’ together to everyone they meet. As they run up the street for the West Town bus, Irene wonders how she’s going to tell her brother about her job up north.

Next door in number 33, Geraldine paces the floor – ‘born worrying, die worrying’ her mother used to tell the neighbours. But the lump on her breast makes her pace faster.

‘Lucky’ Jim turns into the street after finishing another night shift at the old plastic Works. He knows it has its bonuses - Jim had no trouble finding stuff to wrap his wife up in. And every morning when he finishes work he buys a newspaper, ten menthol cigarettes from the corner shop and wonders if this will be the day they find her.

In the little shop on the corner, Andy, the milkman, delivers another crate of cream and then creeps out having failed to ask Matilda - who works there – if she’d like to go to the park on Sunday.

Matilda’s heart is almost bursting through her chest as she waits for Andy to ask.

And Hugh, big strong Hugh from number 36, can’t tell anyone (not even his best friend) that his black eyes - which he covers with his wife’s makeup - are not from playing sports. She’s warned him, if he acts like a child then he must be punished like one.

He’s hidden the packed bag in the shed for the day he leaves her.

At the white house on the corner, Alice takes in gentleman callers until her husband gets back from a far off land.

And in the bus shelter Eddie drinks a can, not to brighten the dull day but to tone down the colours.

And from every house on the street comes the screech of silent screaming.

Only the dogs can hear.


  1. Nice work. I like the sound of Hugh's story. Tell me more. Nice pic as well. Where'd that come from?

    1. Hi Philip , cheers for that bud - Hugh was something I had been writing about when I was at classes up at Emmerdale. I love the pic too - it's from this man-

  2. Liked this a lot. So many lives, so many stories, so much sadness...

    1. Hiya Sharon, the whole thing's based on Crown road but to be honest I had to water it down, no one would believe it :-)
      Hope you and Philip are well. Take care.x

  3. A wonderful collage of lives, as there invariably must be in every street in every town. I must ask though. Is there something I missed? You said that two peoples hearts were almost bursting from their chests.

  4. Thanks for reading it sir - I write pretty quickly and I tend to start a poem and write it through. Actually, I wrote it in my head while watching War Horse (thus the title) and it started with Sally Anne and finished with Matilda - so there was a kind of Wally Dugs thing - two book ends boths with hearts thumping but when I came to write it here - I felt I wanted to add more - I should have changed it even though it was crying out for it. Ach well, another day.