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16 October 2014
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S J Young

I am married, 2 children (3 and 10). Born and live in Belfast although I have moved around and worked in a variety of jobs. I write prose and poetry and have had a few short stories published. I would have produced more but life got in the way. Finding a stronger voice now and I feel I have developed a better understanding of the craft aspects of writing, which has always been part of my problem - love the words more than the structure and plot.

Affray by S J Young

Comes he,
Head bowed and weeping,
Splashing the black pools of rain in which insects flail
The odour of blood hot in his nose.

Kicks through the rubble of a removed dwelling
Glistening under moonlight.
Rats hiss and scatter and a cat in a broken corner
Wails its sudden loss into the night.

Leaps a stagnant, oil-streaked, pool
Welling over the drain
Sending a ripple back through
The unbroken surface of the water.

Crosses the street, soundless
But for his steel-capped boots
From the toe of which unsticks and slides
A patch of human scalp, lodging in the ground like an eager weed.

Watches the shadows, weighs the wind
As he pulls a single key from his pocket
And unlocks the reinforced door of number three
The single unbricked habitation in the street.

Sways the hammer under the long coat
Explaining the long coat.
Swings and cracks the hammer
Against the wooden frame

Flicks a switch on the wall
A naked bulb overhead drops
A yellow skin that accentuates the boney twists of his hands
As he drives home the thick, steel bolts.

Leans against the door
The strength dripping away into
The voids and caverns that compose him
A canine odour of neglect in the air.

Slides the hammer from its sling with a movement deft through practice
And examines the metal head.
No damage, you see, never truly is.
Think now, for a moment, without the eclipse of anger

Sniffs slow the sodium blood
Holds it there, eyes closed to aid discernment.
Cradles the instrument, almost like a child
With the fondness and anxiety of a man ambitious for his children.

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