Crooks, according to thousands and thousands of students, is primarily punctual, rising in alarm to a day dreamed through gold-framed specs but tightened by the reality of batterings he has endured. They dream too of his multitude of shoes for all terrains – bar the one he has to tread – and wishful readings of his mauled life take on one of their own, being young and hopeful and having futures. We know different. Though they too recognise he is old, we understand the vernacular of what truly possesses age; want to ask what snippet of the day he can seize from dirty secrets isolated on his special shelf, urge carpe diem to define a moment for those who read into his chapter a risk of satisfying the self.

Mike Ferguson is an American permanently resident in the UK and widely published online. His most recent poetry in print is ‘Professions’ [The Red Ceilings Press, 2018] and ‘Precarious Real’ [Maquette Press, 2016].