I took a bunch of ex cons bowling today
I do social work a different way
At the bowling ally it was Peters turn to begin
He said, "The only ally he knew was the one he slept in"
Jack told of the time he shot up smack
Whilst Davey bowled his shot, talking about crack
Robin said he dealt inside prison and didn't care
He then smiled when he got a spare
Jack then said he got 5 yrs for attacking a man with a spike
He then jumped for joy when he got a strike
Barry said his life was all about shooting up in McDonald's loos
He then looked for bowls and said; " where's the blues?"
I told him I would go and get one for him
Jack continued his story, "the C**T needed it! He nicked my gin"
Raj said he was having a bad week
Whereas Sam just bowled his game and didn't speak
It was funny seeing such hard men play this game
If you never knew about them they just be the 'same'
The 'same' as the couple bowling the next row down
Although you never know he might have been sent down?
After the bowling we all went for a Chinese
They were very polite with their thankyou's and please
Muscat, as he was known to the guys
Was saying how he got off Scott free with a string of lies
Raj was still feeling rather bad
So I took him aside and he told me about his dad
Dying in the Hospital down the road
Like father, like son, no fixed abode
I told him he was free to leave, I would not inform parole
I look round and jack was still bragging, he was on a roll
The stories came and went, and a lot of good feelings were spread around
They all thanked me, and said I was "sound"
After the meal, they went there separate ways
Promising to keep to our next appointment, joking it is at Safeway's
On the train back home i realized that we all different from one another
And that you can't judge a book by its cover
And all sometimes they get on my tits
I will never forget that day, 'bowling with convicts.'
This was one of my mums favourite poems. It was written in 2004, when i was working In a drug outreach job. The Law in England is that if you are convicted of a crime to do with drugs you have to attend a local drugs service. We used to give them advice on housing, counseling, drug tests and run support groups. We also used to take them out for activities once in a while. This is a true poem, word for word 9just the names changed) of one of these community based days i took them on.