AC (6th August,1945 / Melbourne, Australia)

Filthy Phil

His broken face was patched
(a motorbike nearly killed him years ago) .
His crooked eyes squinted
through filthy glasses.
A Temple Bar always hung on his lower lip.
He must have been fifty.
I was thirteen.

His wife had died some weeks before,
horribly, of lung cancer.
He took to visiting the family.
He stayed too long,
He drank too much.
He and dad got on really well.
They talked about racing cars.
Mum said 'Poor Old Phil. He's lonely.'

Once he took us all to dinner.
He wore patent leather shoes.
He danced with me - sublimely -
foxtrot, quickstep, waltz.
He moved like Fred Astaire.

Then one stinking hot December night,
he drove David and I
to the old stone lookout
at Kangaroo Ground.
The view was stunning.
The 'lights of Melbourne' twinkled all around.

Later, as we felt our way down the tower steps
in the narrow dark,
he pressed himself
hard against me,
opened his slimy mouth
and poked his slimy tongue
deep into my throat.

I pushed him off and ran
back to the car.
On the way home,
he slid his hand
across the front seat.
David didn't notice.

Next week, he rang -
Could he take the kids camping?
So I had to tell.
Dad said 'I'll have a word.
It won't happen again.'
And it didn't.

by Alison Cassidy

Comments (14)

A narrative poem and with a lesson to learn ' don't befriend a lonely widower'.
Allie, I remember this one well; it struck me deeply at the time. On rereading after you have edited it, it only gets better - 'better' meaning more striking of course, more vile. You tell about it in almost detached, quasi-objective manner. The ending, showing an absolute trust in a father who acts promptly, is touching. An eloquently penned narration of something which, as I suggested before, probably happens far more often than the population at large is aware. t x
Really succinct, concretely and simply told. A good cautionary tale for girls!
Quick narrative flow and simple language used, potraying an emotional atmosphere seamlessly. A poem that will strike someone's heart upon reading it.
Yes, they are very good at doing things right in front of others and no one sees due to the fact no one suspects something this disgusting from their wonderful friend or associate. Parents and those that want to protect children need to know what signs to watch out for. Those signs will be recorded in my next poem on Pedophiles. Excellent poem Alison, Thankyou---Melvina
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