We pay the cable from the reel in staggers,
jerk the squiggly line between the bushes,
wake the minor aches, the none too vicious
graters in the knee that love to grab us.
Nothing lightweight in the gear for this one:
the Black and Decker like a struggling toddler;
the squeaky derricks of our legs manoeuvred
round the pain to give the tools a platform.
Though it’s money saved; and while the gripe’s curtailed
we crouch to proud, redundant, bent old nails
which squeal against the grinder, scattering in the nettles
tiny marigolds of blistered metal
until the shanks resign, the flat heads flying.
But how to rise, from those smoking stumps of iron?
- by Alan Horne