On seeing old folk shopping.
Side by side
A herd of wounded rhino
bent backed stick heavy.
Tottering towards termination.
Taken by Tesco trolley towards checkout.
What becomes of the broken hearted?
Worn on the wheel of life
devoid now of the man or woman
they never truly loved but miss all the same.
An empty basket.
It’s not funny.
…To the river…
Past the fat lady who sits on the bench
with her supermarket trolley and unbearable stench.
Past the small children who play in the park
hoping they are called in well before dark.
Past the trembling soldier
with his thoughts insane
and pictures of his best friend screaming in pain.
Past the empty man forever unlocked
whose pathway in life has always been blocked.
To a message of love I wish she’d deliver
It’s a very short walk down to the river.
I could give you what you need today.
But you would only squander away
with an early morning decision
and a swift and clean incision
that would cut deep into all our lives.
All my long life I have waited
and pondered on what you might be wearing
on that last night when you come to gather me up.
Leading me by my shaking hand on a cautious creep
towards the mysterious door that waits ajar.
Will there be a blinding flash of light?
An Eternal Night?
A voice I know but cannot name?
My mother’s face or…more of the same?
I am a performing circus horse.
I’ve learnt well
the tricks of my trade.
The raising and lowering of my head
the toss of mane.
Pretend I’m dead.
But that pat on the head…
makes up for the cruelty of it all.
See me trot, see me rear.
Come close my love
whisper in my ear, tell me that I have a career, with you…forever.
See me gallop and take the jump
Finest hay and sugar lump.
All on cue.
Right on course
this fine, obedient,