By Annie Shepherd for The Parisian Post.

* * *

Houses are slicker in the suburbs

there’s elegant disorder in the courtyards

as the train slides by on steel-smooth rails

gathering speed. See someone’s propped his VTT*

up against the trellised wall.

A broken chair is doing the splits

on a patio where no-one sits

and someone’s roses have the blight

and who forgot the garbage lid?

A giant mole-hill, earth piled up   

for a swimming pool, but who’s got time

to swim from the rush of  

stocks and shares?

We glide away from topiaried trees

to leaning poplars lining a road

an empty road, no one in sight

just a field where cows lie huddled up

under a remote afternoon

where curves in lanes lead to nowhere, or to

locked up churches, old ladies with sticks,

stone walls crumbling, history lost to

shops shuttered, doors sealed up, 

but the cock on the steeple still holds his head high

but there’s no-one to hear in the dying chateau

sighing as we slow to a stop.

A silver snake, we wait in a plain

of golden corn stretched out like a shroud.

No farmer in sight, cornfields sewn yesterday,

we slide on, forgetting

the iron-age flint, nails, hammers

silenced in the clods beneath,

and check our mobiles

digits, numbers

‘Le Cac40 baisse.

 Heading for a crash’

while twilight tinges the corn-heads pink.

  *VTT: Velo tous terrains: mountain bike.

copyright © 2012 Annie Shepherd all rights reserved

Contact Annie Shepherd  for more of her published poetry, including  her collection “Jostled by Ghosts”.  Click here for a free pdf copy of her satirical poems written for The Parisian Post during the 2012 presidential elections.


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