Jed of the Dodgems

My brother said you can’t make a mountain out of a sow’s arse
and at sixteen he ran away to join the fair;

changed his name from Gordon to Jed of the Dodgems,
grew his hair, slicked it back with Brylcreem

perfected the art of rolling a fag with just one hand
and kept a set of knuckledusters in his back pocket.

He had a girl in every town and tattooed most of them
on his arms with a pot of blue ink and a bent pin;

gained a reputation for cheating at cards,
short changed the punters pocketing the profits,

lied to his boss, swore it was the other guy,
got kicked out and made a million selling windscreens.

He brought his kids up with a loud voice and a quick hand,
taught them – honesty’s not always the best policy.



Ilse Pedler lives and works as a veterinary surgeon in Kendal, her first collection Auscultation was published by Seren in 2021