Stealing

By Carol Ann Duffy.

The most unusual thing I ever stole? A snowman.

Midnight. He looked magnificent; a tall white mute

beneath the winter moon. I wanted him, a mate

with a mind as cold as the slice of ice

within my own brain. I started with the head.

Better off dead than giving in, not taking

what you want. He weighted a ton; his torso,

frozen stiff, hugged to my chest, a fierce chill

piercing my gut. Part of the thrill was knowing

that children would cry in the morning. Life's tough.

Sometimes I steal things I don't need. I joy-ride cars

to nowhere, break into houses just to have a look.

I'm a mucky ghost, leave a mess, maybe pinch a camera.

I watched my gloved hand twisting the doorknob.

A stranger's bedroom. Mirrors. I sigh like this – Aah

It took time. Resembled in the yard,

he didn't look the same. I took a run

and booted him. Again. Again. My breath ripped out

in rags. It seems daft now. Then I was standing

alone amongst lumps of snow, sick of the world.

Boredom. Mostly I'm so bored I could eat myself.

One time, I stole a guitar and thought I might

learn to play. I nicked a bust of Shakespeare once,

flogged it, but the snowman was the strangest.

You don't understand a word I'm saying, do you?