Sunday, July 12, 2009

"It's a Trap"

Dark shape moving overhead
something tremendous
tremendous impact shakes the earth

A massive footfall

And it
(the shadow)
moves on,
and in its wake we have
pink dust, like
pink snow
falling down around us

You don't even notice,
you don't have time to lose,
you're up and moving

to find some clothes
to get dressed
to head out quickly
to cross the room
to a door, leading
to a passage
to a flight of stairs, leading down
to darkness;

to rub at your eyes
to hurry
to the bottom
to slip through a gap, closing, very narrow
to feel the walls close around your shoulders
to wriggle through, & out

to the light
to open spaces
to noises & people, rushing,
to almost forget
to check before running across
to the far side

to the side street
to the alley
to the path which leads
to the park
to the bus stop
to check your watch

to creep in through the basement carpark
to creep in late
to punch the button
to climb inside, be drawn upwards
to punch the clock

to work
to work
to stare out the window
to type to index to squint & agree
to hold, to wait, to drum your fingers
to work, to fidget,
to work

to stumble along
to take your bearings &
to realise you're lost
to realise you're tired, but then
to hear something
to listen
to hear them somewhere nearby, &
to carry on, looking

to crash against the mattress, exhausted, &
to try to think what you need
to remember for tomorrow,
to fall sleep wondering

to wake later in the night, remembering
to stare up at the ceiling, remembering

to work
to work
to lift them one by one
to carry each of them over & stack them
to carry them stack them load them up onto the trucks,
to step back,
to wipe the sweat from your face, then look
to the rest of it waiting
to be shifted, stacked & loaded

to exhaustion at the end of it,
to feel so fucking tired, &
to lean against the wall &
to wonder where all the money goes

to a bench
to sit
to take off your shoes before rising
to step inside
to silence
to the shade of a large cool room
to the muttering of dozens of people
to step amongst the kneeling forms
to find a place of your own
to kneel
to mutter
to mutter for hours
to barely know what you're saying, but simply
to ask
to say “please”
to repeat that word many times
to ask for relief
to politely ask for the pressure to relent
to ask
to be pardoned
to beg
to kneel & beg, & while so doing,
to try
to ignore the cold stone
to ignore the pain it is causing your knees &
to put aside your mounting suspicion that no-one is listening
to you

to work
to work
to lean against the wall &
to examine your hands
to admit
to yourself: it's not getting easier
to do this
to work & work &
to make it to that magical fucking pint
to the whiskey & the smoke
to that moment of peace

to accustom yourself
to a certain amount of pain
to accept it as inevitable, but
to admit
to yourself: it's getting harder
to ignore

to a waiting room
to wait
to stare about &
to wait
to be called
to stare at the faces of the others
to consider which seem stronger, which weaker
to hear your name
to walk in & sit
to bow your head
to listen
to them tell you what you need
to stop eating or stop doing
to breath a deep acceptance &
to nod;
to take it on the chin

to work, to work
to wake
to sudden pain, & then
to wait while they make the call
to watch them come in
to be lifted over
to a stretcher, carried
to the car, driven
to the ward, wheeled
to the bed, shown the controls
to lift it & lower it,
to wait there, to wait there
to take it on the chin, then

to a table & then
to a box & then
to a hole in the ground & then
to what?
to wait there?
to wait there & then at the sound of a trumpet
to be lifted up & carried away
to somewhere
to some great reward
to Heaven
to Jesus
to Santa
to life everlasting;
to be congratulated on your conduct &
to be told: “Yes”