Little Wonder

Walking into a room I do not recognise
For a reason I cannot remember,
People reach out to touch me
But my hope has been dismembered
By the wild dogs of life,
So I stare blankly, as vacant
As a motel closed for the winter,
Or at least the sign said so but the owners never came back,
Or as a gas station without any fuel,
Or as the cold grey body we found
As children, we were ten years old,
On the towpath, exsanguinated, nameless,
Impossibly cold;
Our parents reported the incident to the police
But by the time the constables arrived
The body had disappeared;
They asked me for more details,
The officer holding his notepad and pen
Seemed to me at that time
Like the authority of a different god
Trapped in the daily mess of men,
I didn’t know that gods would agitatedly tap their pens on standard issue pads,
But he did; and I remember that it had
A royal crest imprinted on each page;
The pen was green, I thought it odd,
Green ink, green the colour of youth
And nature and sage and envy and see
Therein how nature’s complexities and miracles
Uses colours in its constant endless symphonies
While man dilutes it to his needs and numbers,
Little wonder,
The colour of greed,
The colour of prisoners’ uniforms
In the prison between three rivers
Where they outsourced all the provisions
And now the prisoners bleed green blood when they’re rioting;
The colour of one pound notes which no longer exist but which inflation determines you can purchase at a much greater price these days using those websites this man in the room uses on his portable screen;
Yes, green ink from a green pen;
A pen, that was what I came into this room for,
In the middle of nowhere I know any more,
Filled with strangers who scare me and persist in saying
That everything will be alright
Whilst I overheard one say I didn’t have long left to be alive and they had better think about preparations and the transfer of her finances into their account
As they poured another glass of wine;
And I seized that pen, gripped with every fibre of senescent strength that I have left,
And wrote on a post-it note in front of me,
Black ink more comforting I should say,
And handed it to that man, (my hands have these lesions),
Who read it with the same sighs
That is said to be locked in the western cliffs,
And crumpled it up and said with the tone
Of a suspicious alibi
We don’t know what you came in here for either, mother,
And those were the last words I remembered and wrote down,
In a diary no-one will be reading,
While a cat with orange fur wails outside
Another room I entered
For no good reason.

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