Sunday, 3 February 2019

The War on the Streets

In the lamp light,
The child’s chair was a dead dog.
In the mourning light,
The bench was a national flag.
The lines had been redrawn badly.

The sand bags gave direction,
As the plastic guard surrounded
The excavated grave.
An energy drink drained
Was a bus stop sacrificial.
The wheel-less bike on the railings
Was a protester,
Chained and silenced and unofficial.

The wrapper discarded,
Was a daffodil,
To mark the start of the callous spring.
Gum chewed and spat by the trigger-happy,
Made bullet holes in the street.
Scaffold clips were lobbed
By the grenadiers of progress,

As the plastic bag kept lookout
In the butchered tree,
Scavenging birds picked the vital bits
From the sickness of scene.
We were caged for our convenience,
And there was no stopping here.

Moss in cracks grew as insignia.
Ring pulls were
Dog tags in body bags,
Tab ends were bullet shells.
Parking tickets rained as
Punishment propaganda.
Communication boxes
Were kicked in and slogan sprayed.
The speed bumps lay
Cemetery straight.

The pigeon spikes saluted,
The empty import lager bottles stood at ease.
The Sally Army bin spewed the guts
Of conscientious objectors,
The DVD box sets that sat on walls,
Provided no subtitles at all.

The battle was timed and recorded.
Holed foxes cried last post.
As the waste lay on the border,
Green boxes rectangular with lids,
Laid bare the celebrations of victors.
Lampposts were clung to
In memoriam.
The wounded staggered
And doorway propped
And bodies lay everywhere.

In the half light,
In given ways,
Through oncoming traffic,
The blood was let.
Through social scrubbing,
Through community conflict,
Lest we forget,
If war is made of memory,
These streets are paved with now.

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