dash

No Manís Land

A name might give you some co-ordinates:
vowels that hold a liquid tilt and splash,
the blending-in of travelled speech
before the temporary people left, before barbed wire
strung the guarded edges, or made a wary perching place
for migrant birds and windswept plastic bags.

Your eyes make out how tall the trees have grown
out of abandoned roofs;  how the towers,
their language twisted out of true, lean now
towards the sun, unsettling their foundations.
No one knows how many foxes have their holes
beneath the rubble of once-promised land.

A scrap of wild, bewildered holding-on,
anchored to where some roots are merging, here
and almost at your feet;  nettles, fat hen.  
Something in common greening up a sprawl of hedge,
the fattening grass, this watered blur of sky and earth
and light that listens without seeming to.

D. A. Prince

If you have any comments on this poem,  D. A. Prince would be pleased to hear from you.

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