Paul Adam Short


Out in the sticks 
at our Godfather's farm
me seven, my brother six
sit mesmerised at Dad 
dismembering with respect 
a handful of skinless lambs 
hung long enough
we don't have to worry 
about any blood spatter -
this rite of passage is clean  
despite the stain of bleating 
in the background
from the stock not yet for slaughter 
trying to distract with moans of life
but our stares are steadfast
following every saw-slice through sinew 
and cleaving hack through tissue and bone
as joints are bound
into greaseproof-parchment paper 
and bundled into boxes
one for us to take away 
the other twelve for our Godfather
who lights a makeshift barbecue built of brick
scorching the savoury hay-grass beneath
and sets about grilling 
the best lamb cutlets 
I'm ever likely to taste
fresh from their funeral pyre 
he sweetens them up 
with homemade mint jelly his wife has made 
from the cottage garden-kitchen
and we have mars bar krispies for dessert 
while the adults have a beer or two 
and the crying from the lambs
is silenced by the sheepdog’s snarl and bark
and we’re given pats on the back 
by a bunch of proud men 
who smell of hay and blood
two young boys 
          -	toughened up in spring's twilight. 

Paul Adam Short is a working-class writer and poet from Newcastle Upon Tyne. The culture, landscape and history of North-East England play a massive part in his inspiration when writing. Paul has been published online in @stymiemag, @dailydrunkmag and @darkpoetsclub. In April 2021, Paul won the Press 53 ‘53-Word Short Story Contest’. Recently, Paul appeared on the Eat The Storms Poetry Podcast reading some of his works.


Flights, Issue Three, December 2021