It was the kind of town
where if you walked around
with a smile marking your face,
you were Not Right In The Head.
If someone asked you how you were,
a day heaven sent was recorded as
Oh (sigh) not too bad thanks.
Cash in the bank, a pint of best,
God in his crib and not too bad.
A nod, a wink, cards close to the chest
and hold back the smile until they’re past.
No weakness shared, no joy exchanged,
for fear of appearing deranged.
Fathers to sons, chests out proud:
Keep yer smiles for the mirror son,
and don’t be happy out loud.
Harry Gallagher is a poet from the North East of England. He performs regularly anywhere from the Midlands to Scotland. His work has been published recently in the UK and abroad by Black Light Engine Room Press, The Northern Correspondent, Heddon Quarry Press, Lucifer Press, Rebel Poetry, The Stare’s Nest, The Fat Damsel, I Am Not A Silent Poet, The Font and many others. He is also co-founder of The Stanza, a popular monthly poetry event in Newcastle. More info here.