Song for 2020

Image of a balck van with a gold logo in the form of a scythe.


 


Wait, wait!
You’ve passed my gate
And you’ve called in here before.
You came in your van
with dark windows and
your scythe logo on the door.
It was a wintry day
near the start of the year
when you marked me as your own,
and when you drove on
all I cared for had gone
and my life had been taken away.

Now I’m lying around
in a box above ground
where nothing gets moved
that I haven’t moved,
and nothing is spoken
that I haven’t said,
and the sheets stay clean
on one side of the bed.
I get deliveries  
on the occasional day,
but they dump the goods
and scurry away.

My bedroom’s a den
for opium dreams,
where, for a little while
I’m in a crowded bar
at a table with friends,
– like it was in the days
when you saw people’s smiles.
But the dream soon ends.
I’m a corpse on a trolley,
awake to the folly
of thinking I’ll live
in that world again.

In the shops and public spaces
the people all walk
with your sign on their faces.
I’d rather stay dead in my home.
Did you get a full load
from the home up the road?
Is that why you won’t stop again?
I’m a job left half done,
so please make it next run,
or come whenever you’re near.
Please! – take my carcase away–
I’ve been rotting for almost a year. 


I was planning to experiment with irregular rhymes and meters, but then sat on the result as it drifted past its sell-by date, because it seemed far too messy.  But perhaps it is as it should be, with a jagged quality that (I like to think) evokes the bubbling anger below the sadness. The title is ironic, of course. There’s no song here.

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