Driving home through the shonky side of town,
three times out of ten you’ll see the town clown,
like a basket of washing that got up
and walked, towing a dog on a rope. But
don’t laugh: every pixel of that man’s skin
is shot through with indelible ink;
as he steps out at the traffic lights,
think what he’ll look like in thirty years’ time –
the deflated face and shrunken scalp
still daubed with the sad tattoos of high punk.
You kids in the back seat who wince and scream
when he slathers his daft mush on the windscreen,
remember the clown punk with his dyed brain,
then picture windscreen wipers, and let it rain.
© Simon Armitage