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Blog - Richard Downes

100 Meters – Clubfoot

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A word memory found in the Poetry Library whilst reading an old, cherished poet who used the word infrequently. I think of Clubfoot sometimes and what happened the next day following my subsequent refusal of a date. My shame will not let me name her. I was young. As was she. We shared space on the dance floor in an institution. Our differences gender and impairment. Today I’m much older and take responsibility for the words I choose to use. Just as I am responsible for the things I thought about people I lived with way back then. There was nothing wrong with Clubfoot. I just wasn’t ready for dating.

100 Meters – Clubfoot

Clubfoot
We danced to music once
I held your waist
And felt your strangeness

Clubfoot
I cannot remember the tune
But I know the room
And all the hopeful faces

Clubfoot
It wasn’t you but me
Who could not stand
Strangeness or attention

Clubfoot
I’m sorry
I did not know
The mods would stop their marching

Clubfoot
I’m still racked with guilt
All these years on
For not facing the threat
Or for accepting your invitation to dance

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