Long Tom

by Angela Prew

Long, certainly, six feet five he tells me,
with feet to match: thirteens,
do they make thirteens?
The chunky teen has stretched
into the slim man, returning
home to us each evening
sharing tales of sad derangement,
of people driven manic
living like rats in their handmade shacks.

His spirit of adventure drives him
round this unfamiliar peninsula
climbing Table Mountain, riding
trains to distant corners, unfazed
by stories of assaults,
of attacks for cellphones.
Of murder and mayhem.
Yet underneath his pillow, as I change
his sheets for laundry, I find
a much hugged teddy bear.

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