Shopping Centre Massacre; December 08

The morning I went out to my car
to find that some hoodie-clad oik
had run their (probably) council-flat key down the side
their vitriol for nothing in particular
now etched along the vehicle’s gleaming panels
violence scratched into a metal plate
a cry for help?
(more like some prehistoric idea of ‘fun’)
was the morning that it all changed.

For years I have held in
my slightly prejudiced views of the world
My disdain for the great ‘working’ class
(what a fucking oxymoron that turned out to be)
hidden behind a smile and a swerve to avoid

Days, weeks, months have passed
where I have bitten my lip
whilst watching a young mother pile her trolley
with chicken nuggets, deep-fried treats and chocolate
without a hint of greenery or colour

I’ve tried not to judge
those who send their children to school
unable to read
or without knowledge of Shakespeare
or simple mathematics
or the ability to use a dictionary

But that morning
I had just had enough.

This morning the papers all read
‘MASSACRE IN SHOPPING CENTRE’
The front page screams to the shocked public
‘Four dead, three injured
after a hooded figure opened fire.
The dead, local unemployed boys
were all wanted by the police
for various incidents including
theft, robbery and arson.’

It felt strange
to momentarily be one of ‘them’
The hood closing my face in, the scarf
limiting my breathing
The rush of excitement as a trigger is pulled
I can understand now
why running keys down a car might be construed
as ‘fun’.

But tomorrow I have a job to go to
and bills to pay
Some of us have responsibilities
and a middle-class family to bring up

Which is why I revel in the small print
of the last paragraph:

The police have no suspects.

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