My hands, yes
I have excommunicated them
for there is no more ceaselessness in them.
Yes, they are sitting comfortably
beneath the emptied udders of the moon
as women worn and washed and stained with transient dream
beyond the apple-tree of Eden.
Silent now the steppes of Central Asia where I once imagined them
as horsemen of apocalypse, of stone.
Truth is the ash they had to cut down at Flass Hall
Whose black uncompromising bud would not and never will be at our beck and call.
Truth – as we, foolish, applaud with saucepan and wooden spoon –
Is the ambulance standing alone in the back lane.
Esh Winning, County Durham, 20 April 2020
APRIL 2023 Gillian Allnutt MONK
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