Eleven, plus by Keith Hutson

for Freddie ‘Parrot-Face’ Davies

In retrospect, to wear a bowler hat
so low his ears bent double, then displace
each S by blowing raspberries, was not
Oscar material but, in the days
when train-impersonators hadn’t yet
been shunted off, nor musclemen in trunks
with organ music, Freddie’s speech defect
could fill a seaside theatre’s summer months.

I loved that man, unaware my laughter
led my best friend’s gifted younger sister,
who read Brontë, to believe I was backward,
until I asked her to go out with me
years afterwards, and she didn’t say no,
just looked appalled before responding You?

(previously published in Prole Magazine)

Keith Hutson has written for Coronation Street and household-name comedians. Since 2014, he has had over 40 poems published, mostly funny ones, in journals including The Rialto, Stand, Magma, The North, Prole, Poetry Salzburg, The Interpreter’s House. He’s also won a Poetry Business Yorkshire Prize.