Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Being English

We no longer speak of these things –

the spiders we swallowed.

What our lines are or
where they came from.

The invisible elastic rope
that ties us to the
bedpost of the past.

The cheap ticking,
plastic toy that remains
descended on cheap
melted glue from our
ribs to our stomachs.

We simply unplug the
television from the
wall at night,
distrust sudden
shouts of cheer from the
cul-de-sac outside, and
tie our shoelaces
neatly and tightly
so the loops do not
catch and drag the
feet of others
rudely along our path.

We are immeasurably,
utterly sorry for
every state of affairs, but
nothing must change.

The army burst into our
houses and told us we
were strong enough not to
deviate from this path.
Once they’d beaten us
sixty times and we didn’t
weep, we decided
it must be true.

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