Genesis, Exodus

Seen from behind parked cars and walls of privet

the endless august afternoons appear

stacked in terraced masses.

 

Haunted by a weight of days to come

a child plays hopscotch alone,

dry soles scraping dry stone,

waiting for the afternoon to end

and drown in a sunset orgy of red.

 

The sound of ice cream vans and fairgrounds

can’t break the trance.

No great sorrows rock the suburbs,

but the sea is a long way off.

 

Going inside she stares in the mirror

trying to see the face she should invent,

in her dreams something struggles towards birth.

 

Red iron water seeping out of the clay

through the black betrayal of last year’s leaves

makes her think of all those buried queens –

will they rise and take the world again?

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