* * *
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
‘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.