Here’s to Mandy, from 5b, we all had her.
And losing our virginities to girls with more
experience than us – a drink to them.
A shot for every shag we had with Shaz,
an extra one for those that got a blow-job
off her mate; another for remembering her name.
Then a chaser for the mothers of our kids.
And relationships that lasted any longer
than a quickie in the doorway of the Spar.
Raise a glass to forced paternity, the trap
that pins us firmly to the rails. To giving half
our salaries to exes, via the good old CSA.
Get a round in for the ones who take us back.
Reliable and willing, the lower expectations
of the fools that know us better than we think.
Let’s have another for the road, to toast us all.
To non-existent drive, a lack of all ambition
keeping us rooted in the place where we were born.
Gill Lambert is a poet and teacher from Yorkshire. She has been published in The Interpreter’s House , by Indigo Dreams, Beautiful Dragons, Paper Swans Press and Otley Word Feast Press; and on-line by The Fat Damsel, Clear Poetry, and Poetry Space. She won the 2016 Ilkley Literature Festival Open mic competition, runs the “Shaken in Sheeptown” event in Skipton, and her first solo pamphlet will be published by Indigo Dreams next year.