Twelve

He wakes up late every morning
to mix batter and pour oil
ready sugar and power up the drinks fridge
his 11am ritual of stinging sweetness.

The motors do most of the work for him
saving him a wrist strain that he's started to miss
since wooden spoons went out of fashion.

It's a family run business
so when summer comes his son spends his holidays
making doughnuts and candyfloss
to a soundtrack of gull-calls and footsteps.
At least that way he knows where he is,
doesn't have to panic when the papers tell him stories

of young men looking for their identities
in the oil-spill of city streets.

When the winter comes he moves back to the city,
chases the people back to tangle of concrete
and electric heaters where he can offer them warmth
and comfort - sweet and deep-fried.