Skimbleshanks in the Holding Cell 

Skimbleshanks in the Holding Cell

The phrase “swing a cat” springs to mind,
although he’s hoping they don’t. And he’s hoping
they don’t bother with the rolled up newspaper
or see to it that he falls down some stairs.

The cell’s not-many-feet by a-few-feet-less.
Contents: a cracked toilet bowl without a seat,
a wooden bench and a blanket bristling
with a family of lice exercising squatters’ rights;

a door built to withstand siege engines
or aggressive drunks; four walls the colour
of British Rail tea, scrawled with misspelled
but heartfelt graffiti. All coppurs are basturds.

Biggs and the boys rob the train and escape.
Macavity runs rings round the law and escapes.
Skimbleshanks sits and counts off the minutes,
wonders what unsolved case they’ll try to pin on him.

Neil Fulwood
Illustration Nick Victor

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