Penfold – by Mab Jones


Too short, too slow, with skin digging to mud
next to Danger’s ion shine, he’s a pent-up
fold of failed intention. His shrill voice signals
him as second, his size as less important: myopic,

he’s the sidekick who was slyly kicked in school;
mistaken for a mole, he grew used to the prick
of toe tips, the hammering of fists from more
confident critters. Now, he’s trapped in persona’s wheel:

stumbling during getaways; cracking crap asides
to invisible viewers; sweating himself slick
inside his shirt with its comic, wing-like collars, while
his spectacles magnify his tiny eyes to moons.

Child-like, yet prematurely bald, he’s a small brown
ball holding the most hated aspects of us all,
in particular, his consistent niceness, which won’t
ever overstep his bumbling rodent role.




Mab Jones has read her work all over the UK, in the US, Ireland, France, and Japan. She is the author of ‘Poor Queen’ (Burning Eye Books, 2014) and ‘take your experience and peel it’ (Indigo Dreams, 2016) which won the Geoff Stevens Memorial Poetry Prize. Her website is at

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