The old tuck shop’s now a vaping place,
passing it reminds me of walking home
from school with my best friend Dane
and buying a bag of rosy apple sweets.
Slurping on one, Dane laughed and it fell –
bagatelle-like – down his windpipe.
Somehow, as he choked, I managed
to knock the thing back out again.
Had it stayed put, he’d be dead now.
Instead, it moved up and he thrives.
I live only a few miles from here,
Dane’s a flight away. His mother says
he’s big up in management, doing well.
We’ve not spoken a word since school.
Richie McCaffery lives in Alnwick, Northumberland. He’s the author of two poetry collections from Nine Arches Press – Cairn (2014) and Passport (2018) as well as two pamphlets, including Spinning Plates (2012, HappenStance Press). He also has another pamphlet due out later this year from Mariscat Press. His blog / website also hosts poems by fellow poets and can be found at: https://richiemccafferypoetry.wordpress.com/