Friday, August 3, 2007

Country Lane

An old shawled woman shuffles fearfully
Along the roadside verge
To a neighbour’s cottage,
As the tin bullets stream by
Like machine-gun fire.
She creeps and pauses, creeps and pauses,
Only forging ahead when the coast is clear,
Like a marine in the jungle hell-hole.
Beside her, the banks of
Dandelion and
Cow parsley
Wear their veil of cement dust,
Unnaturally silvered like sprayed wreath-roses.
With rasping breath, they seek the sun,
As a drowning man forces blue lips
To break the rippled surface
Of a world turned topsy-turvy.
The rumbling of the machines in McFadden’s Field
Drone their miserable lament.

Country lane now designated
“Orbital Access Route.”

A bloodstained pelt is mashed into the tarmac.
Fox or rabbit? Who can tell?
It matters no longer.
Certainly not to the opportunistic magpie
That takes its life in its wings
To investigate.
The old woman glances at the blood-splattered fur,
Nods knowingly
And pads on.

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