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July 15, 2017

You take me to task because a man has died.

I ask: do you think I can just forget?

Know this: to protect what’s left to protect

I won’t stop short of murder when required.


We won’t return to unreaped harvests, heads

bent over crippled stalks; the awkward shapes

in stiff repose; the thrice-abandoned space

bereft of you, the slaughterers, the dead.


Democracy will wait until I fear

no more the clattered landing of the crow

in silent farmland, nor that salt-sweet smell.


In quiet moments now, the sounds I hear

are not the cries of twenty years ago –

but their foretokened echoes, should I fail.


(Published by Pennine Platform, 2016)

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