Rehabilitation of offenders

A man’s found beneath a car park. He’s not
the only one lost under concrete. In sterile rooms
relatives offer DNA, hope for strands of hair.

We unearth bits of bones with tractor wheels,
brooches in tree roots. They are flimsy, uncertain
as loyalty. We manoeuvre around them,

turn over their meanings like armies
assembled on hillsides, sniffing the breeze
for the winning side. In the soil

the leather harness of a lost horse,
by a ditch a hawthorn. In the village churchyard
all the unnamed, given the heave-ho.

Five hundred years on, we trust our violences
will be excusable. We’ve ordered a cortège,
an oak casket, burial in a cathedral.


This poem was first published in Issue 3 of The Poets’ Republic



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s