Straight off the bat

Straight off the bat, I reckon you know
better words than me. Big juicy ones
bathing in the pool of your tongue. Show-
stoppers on each fingertip, pointing me
towards the nearest dictionary. I’d say
you keep a few snugged up your sleeve
like a silk tissue. When lost for something
my great uncle Tommy used to say: always check
the last place first. So, times I go looking, hoping
to find treasure, but at best two or three might fall
from my cuff like dull pennies. Uncle Tommy
used to make those appear from behind my ear,
and a master of escapology, he hood-winked a slew
of heart attacks throughout his puff. They say number
sixteen finished him. Here’s two coming now, tickling
their way down my arm: Myocardial Infarctions
that’s what the doctor called them.



Niall M Oliver is an Irish writer who has recently returned home with his wife and two boys after a decade living in London. His poems have previously featured in Crossways, Burning House Press, The Lake Poetry and Visual Verse.