Need help? Call our helpline

5pm–midnight, 365 days a year
Need help? Call our helpline 0800 58 58 58
or Use our WEBCHAT.

POEM: A Ritual


Put your name to a failing business –

and we are in a car taking straights at speed,

tyres churning the roadside undergrowth,


my neck pinched by an elasticated tie.

Paraded before reluctant clients: Pay me!

But there were times we went for a curry.


Each meal, I stuck to the staple:

tandoori chicken and lemon sorbet,

the sizzling meat arriving from the oven


with its charcoal elbows wrapped in foil.

I worked flesh from the bone with a knife,

slurped up the shredded lettuce;


squeezed pips across the meat with a press.

My mother ordered stuffed paratha,

licensed by its ability to be shared.


The fruit came scalped like a hardboiled egg

and filled to its thin flipped hinge.

I couldn’t comprehend the citrus –


a lemon tree shaken

by a youth in Porto, flesh almost sweet.

We wet ourselves with flannels.


Bedded down afterwards, our closed eyes

scrolled the hallways; like options

steered towards the blinded windows.


photo credit: Masala Chicken Himachali via photopin (license)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

Related Articles