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Tuesday 16 August 2011

Iron Coffin

I’ve seen them waiting in docks, nervous of eyes, like
Mothers waiting for their children at the school gate.
Gaunt, an iron fist, a gauntlet, rocking to sleep the children
In their bellies, meandering across vast oceans, laden and creaking
With secrets contained inside a iron coffin, sealed with sealing wax
Of wire and embossed like a Lord Mayor’s ceremonial chain of office
Weighted down, bow-legged on a legless sea-camel,
Interlocked like rusting Lego, numbered by once white sprayed stencil
Now, scratched like a whore's back, logo over-painted to lie or confuse
Disfigured, laying naked on top of each other, like spent lovers

Abandoned, metallic mouths now wide open waiting for rented food
Below a red and yellow Self Storage sign, signed off with an afterthought,
‘24/7 Access’ in a brazen new-speak of lazy shorthand communication
That promises the prospect renter a new key and little else.
Beside one of these iron, echo-cavern monsters I sit in my car awaiting
All my worldly goods to arrive in a rented van loaded by a dubious
Russian and two mid-European banal muscles who don’t even try to hide
The new scar, jagged on the dining table, crafted like a jealous idiot running
A screwdriver along a new car’s paintwork.

I trace my rain wet finger along the defaced table, remembering when once
This dining table was our pride, running your newly ringed finger along the veneer
Marquetry, inter-spliced with apple and rose-wood that perfumed the showroom with
Lavender polish that masked the salesman’s overpowering breath.

© Harry Mills
All rights reserved

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