The Fourth Day of Christmas – Chris Fewings and Stuart Murphy




Unlucky numbers

On the first day of X-mas a kid-gang brought to me
a mirror printed with the reflection
of supermarket special offers, half-price happiness.
I scrubbed at that mirror till my arm ached.

On the second day the sun played hide-and-seek.
I tried to lasso its light with a frisbee,
almost strangled it. It was at its weakest.

On the third day I unwrapped
the morning slowly, peeled the curtains
from stupor’s surface, stuffed them into a recycling bin
set to overflowing; smouldered.

On the fourth day of X-mas they carried me down to the park.
‘You need some fresh air!’ They pranked me
onto a makeshift raft on the lake
and watched from the bench
as I grabbed at the ducks’ bread
and they ate turkey sandwiches .

On the fifth day I sawed off several fingers
with a breadknife to spite my left hand
and melted down the remnants of five relationships.

The next day I tried to mop up the blood
with a crust of bread, but it had already congealed
on my workbench. Photographs. Fingerprints. Bad dreams.

On the seventh day I had a bloody good time
on the proceeds of the rings.

By the eighth, I’d cooked my landlord’s goose
in the fat he’d creamed off the land, served
my notice.

Day 9: needed a new leaf
to turn, ordered a half-price calendar
to skip, watched it fall flat on its face.
Years as young as this just pick themselves up.

A night on a park bench. I fish the moon out of the lake
and share it with the early joggers.

On the eleventh day, I wonder if anyone cares enough
to burn me in effigy. I light a candle in the shape of an angel
which arrived in the post from my uncle, misaddressed,
after a year’s detour through the badlands round Bethlehem.
I think I attended his funeral in August.

Our revels now are ending. I’m standing on a stepladder
with a megaphone, surrounded by my cheering neighbours,
handing out 12 bottles of bubbly confiscated by AA
and sold at Oxfam for a song. I sing it again
as the corks pop – someone records it,
posts it into thin air. Has it arrived yet? Check the air.
Check your dreams. Check that mirror.




Chris Fewings lives in Birmingham and writes poems, stories, rants and reflections. Other poems on Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Earth, The Sea and the Human Spirit and Wayless .





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Stuart Murphy has been writing poems for two years without any formal training or planning. He has had poems published in and in
He lives in Scotland currently.

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