Death of a Hero
The whip-crack of the thread, the
pin snapped like a rib and
we saw the cloud for miles, billowing
like pipe smoke trapped
in the big, beat-up black-country.
Some reached for the top shelf book
expecting a hollow hiding place but
most threw stones at the goof in the bullet-proof house;
besides, the buck-toofed lay told
us the troof – and the gallows-maker lives on.
A year gone, the tears turn to wine,
(after all, we
toppled the bronze, a whip-snap of the rope)
and the crowd grows and smiles, bubbling
like a bath bomb in the drip-tray.
The hero’s limbs rotting in the wooden box on
rotting silk in the mud of the black-country.
The Still Room
Pale walls, the jaundiced
lungs of the giant, wheezing, snap
sterile, like the crack of the ventilator, not
that he saw it
through the stale light of his eye,
hanging from the ceiling, wires beating
fat with the drag of
forced palpitations, not
that dad felt it,
the doctor’s pulse,
or heard it, the rain papping
on the window,
or smelt it, the stale thunderous
he cried like I
sweated on the plastic
and dad didn’t know it,
but his tongue dried to leather.