Matthew Sweeney


A monkey with a nine iron
was guarding the door, and eyes
looked down from an upstairs window.
The monkey was swinging the club
at heads that didn't exist,
or at least weren't there yet.
I leant on the streetlight, cogitating.
I had a package to deliver,
one that would bring me a grand,
and a blackmailer to pay off.
I had travelled 500 kilometres.
The smell of coffee roasting
mingled with the sound of the sea
prodded me into walking -
slowly, though, as in a gunfight.
I should have been carrying a gun.
The monkey saw me, and moved
towards me, brandishing the club.
I held the package up, waving it.
An ear-bursting whistle left the house
and pulled the shrieking monkey back
as if it was on a chain.
The door opened a fraction.
I hurried towards it, watching
the monkey all the time.


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