Register monitor & Grass box
[ poetry - september 07 ]
Another nought in the box for Julie.
Along the empty corridor,
hot water hammering in the pipes;
past the racket from Wiggy Jones' class.
Rain spatters the long windows.
A drop trickles, gets bigger, runs away.
I make out the gable of her house
close to the foundry. Along Chapel Lane
a red MG: wire wheels flash silver.
The glint of forceps, quick scissors.
Upended, it rests in the corner
of his green shed next to the jerry can
half-full of two star.
Suffolk Punch: its crest scarred
from nosing the hawthorn hedge.
A knack to tilt it, slip the steel prongs
snug into their slots: his hands
steady, inches from the blades.
Attached, it eases back, judders
to the gunning motor.
Fizzing grass, a burst of clover,
sparks of buttercup, daisy whites.
The shock of a hidden stone
going off. The mower charges;
he hauls it back from the border.
Again and again he flips the box
over. Clumps tumble, clippings shower
on to the compost. The jigging motor
ticks over. Petrol fumes,
a blue haze.
Perfect stripes between the privets
and rhododendrons that partly screen
the disused railway: graffitied fencing,
a burst sofa, hooded youths
on scramble bikes.