This poem was published by Stride Magazine in July 2017

The Nesbitts

You’ve driven from Penzance to Preston to find the Nesbitts aren’t at home and won’t be for the foreseeable future. The Nesbitts are on a permanent vacation, they left a note. Now you have no money for petrol to get home, as the Nesbitts owe you an enormous amount (pretty much everything you had left after squandering your inheritance) and now that they’ve gone, you have nowhere to go and no-one to turn to. To make things worse, you’ve told everyone that you were going to visit the Nesbitts and about how amazing the Nesbitts are as people, and now everyone will know that they don’t give a shit about you. The Nesbitts probably laughed hysterically when making their travel booking at the exact same time you were bragging about knowing them and singing their praises. To make things worse, the Nesbitts still have your Joe Satriani CD (one of those he made many years ago before he went bald) AND they have your bat and ball from a time so lovely you find it too painful to talk about now in light of this very public rejection.

Mrs Nesbitt once said you had broad shoulders. It’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you. Mr Nesbitt said you had a good right leg, when you were having a kick about on the beach. This made your shoulders even broader. The Nesbitts were kind and listened very quietly and carefully about what had happened with your mother and her death and the vast fortune. They were very patient. Mrs Nesbitt put her hand on your hand and gave Mr Nesbitt a knowing look that showed she must have cared, even though she’d only just met you. You thought you were friends. You thought you could maybe stay with them for a while, as you helped them out with that blasted debt they were, as Mrs Nesbitt said, being crippled by. You thought if you helped someone they would return the favour. You thought you and the Nesbitts were now entwined in each other’s lives and that nothing was going to stop you now, like the Starship song which was integral to the film Mannequin starring Andrew McCarthy in the 1980s. But it has become starkly apparent that you were wrong.

© Vik Shirley 2017