Some bastard came up our street last week robbing cars.
If only I could have got them my neighbour said. Irate wasn’t the word,
The man’s wife isn’t well, his son’s in a wheelchair
And some lousy scumbag decides to rifle his car.
Not mine though. No they stole two bicycles from the side
Of our house one Saturday night a few weeks earlier.
Birthday presents for the boys
Both, now gone, vanished. We called the police and they have conducted
An extensive investigation into the whole affair.
Detectives carried out fingertip searches of the crime scene,
Suspects interviewed, surveillance carried out, sodium thiopental
Administered, interrogation and sensory deprivation deployed.
Every trick in the book. Guantanamo wouldn’t get a look in.
Where are the bicycles? And the other man’s money? And his
Paraplegic son’s keys? And who scattered that stuff up and down
The street? You scum bastards. But of course none of these things happened.
Well the robbery did in truth. My fault for not chaining the boys’ bikes. My
Neighbour’s for not locking his car. Nothing to do with the way
The others were brought up, dragged up from the dregs to decide
To steal a nine-year-old boy’s brand new birthday bicycle and his brother’s both.
They got someone for the car crime. The police did. There were three in the bed
Together, a gang I suppose, but they couldn’t get him to roll over the
Other two. I would like to meet them and ask them why they
Did it? I’m sure they weren’t into cycling and lycra really.
And when I’d finished I’d simply say
On your bike, your own bike that is and
Fuck away off out of our street, my life,
Our stuff, our gardens, our sheds, our cars, our lean-tos.
Every night now I lock the car religiously.
And make sure the replacement bikes
Are chained. And every cyclist I stare suspiciously at the
Bike he’s on. Is it black? Has it that familiar green writing on the frame?
And what if I did see it? I’d love to stick a stick
Between that particular set of spokes.