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Val Cooper


Dover, England, UK

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Val Cooper

My jacket is too small for me.
If I do the buttons up
it splays away
and lets the cold winds in.

My baggy pants hang loose on me.
I fear they will fall down
around my ankles
and make me a laughing stock.

My boots let water in.
They are too big for me.
I slip and slide in them.
I just can't get a grip.

I have a battered hat
which the wind blows off
and bowls along the gutter.
I chase after,scared of losing it.

Still I close my eyes and skate
to the very edge,skimming
the abyss,cutting life so close
it jumps for joy.



Val Cooper

Closing time he shifts it all away,
flesh,bones,fat,blood,back into the cold store
then slams the heavy door.

Next he cleans his tools,knives, saws, axes
and the rest.He washes,scrapes and polishes
then hangs them in spotless readiness.

He swabs the marble slabs in hot suds
and scrubs and scrubs the chopping block ,
goes with the grain till it glows white again.

Finally the floor ,with brush and bleach and mop
then locks the door and leaves.No backward look.
Few town butchers live above the shop.



Val Cooper

By night they seem made of moonlight,
snuffling through stripe and shade,
a brief cascade of silver
dappling the black mould at the wood's foot.

By day there is only silence
and the scribbled map of their runs,
scuffed soil at the den's mouth,
more eye than mouth,hooded,blank.
It will only gleam again when they tumble out
in a hot reek,as it delivers them to the night.