DICK WHITTINGTON (BLACK VERSION)

 

 

Has anybody seen my boy?

 

black-skin,

doo-rag on his head.

 

Last spotted on a one-way trip

to The big-bad city.

 

Chasing dreams, fame and fortune,

like a naive dick.

 

*

 

Has anybody seen my boy?

 

APB

No sign in the papers or TV.

 

Text 1:

I cut a body a half today, dad.

How do you shave with a razor, dad?

Smiley face emoji.

 

Text 2:

I kickstarted a heart today, dad.

How do you deal with a papercut, dad?

Smiley face with a wink emoji.

 

Text 3:

In the cosy electroshock therapy café

they dance to

‘turn down for what?’ by DJ Snake.

 

No emoji, no smiley face,

no knowing wink.

 

No mention of the word – Dad.

No mention of if he’s ever coming home.

 

*

 

Has anybody seen my boy?

He’s a naïve dick.

 

Can’t read gang signs,

jabbers on about flatlines.

 

Doesn’t know it’s cheaper

to buy a return than 2 singles.

 

Is his journey over?

Last known address:

 

Somebody got stabbed

Dead on the street corner.

 

*

 

6am. Knock knock.

Who’s there?

 

9am?

Good Morning Britain TV time.

 

10am?

Letter delivery time.

 

What is 6am?

Bad news distribution time.

 

Deep growl voice. ‘Open up.’

‘I need some I.D.’

 

Or else.

Or else what?

 

The coughing.

Spluttering.

 

A fall into my arms.

Too heavy.

 

A body collapses

onto the sofa.

 

I can see the heart beating through the chest.

Doo-rag covering his hair.

 

Has anybody seen my boy?

 

‘Hi Dad,

the night coach takes forever.’

 

The city has stolen my boy

and replaced him with a man.

 

A black man who nobody has heard of.

A black man who has seen too much too young.

 

Am I allowed to worry about my son’s life

when his medic job is to save lives?