Love Poem to Young Offenders Support Workers

by Libby Russell

Here, where the streetlights have seen
more than any expert, there is a currency
in the green ghosts of cheap chains hidden under collars,
or in knowing somebody’s brother from school,
or in the phone numbers of people who know
how to scoop up boys spilling out onto pavements,
their limbs limp as weeds, without calling for sirens
and warrants and lights; people who know
what to say to young men with grey faces
trembling blood onto paving stones,
and how to empty their hands without trouble. Here,
where there are no newspapers, talk is never cheap.
There is a currency in handlebar seats, and boys know
the value of dragging each other home.