The Fire Station

By Sarah Barnsley

is a box of matches
wedged in the kitchen
drawer between polio
jabs, BMX wheelies,
oily King marbles
like dark planets,
the car park
sign that made us
snigger, asking if
you had remembered
to pay and display
your ticket c*ck
when you took us to
Beacon Park in
the courgette
green Hunter
the days you were
on nights.

The fire station
is a box of matches,
its eggshell-pink
scratchy walls
a strikepad for
engines to spark
to market town
a bum superglued
to the bus station
loo, a willy in a
milk bottle, a kid’s
head in school
railings, nothing
that a bit of soap
wouldn’t shift.

The fire station
is a box of matches,
firemen rattling
around inside,
giving stick,
playing volleyball
in burgundy tees,
custard breeches,
Dad whacking
Terry Marshall,
teeth fizzing blue,
us being rehoused,
no one laughing now

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