nthposition online magazine

To my best-kept, Quasimodo & Wheelchair, recast as an area of pastoral interest

by Mark Burnhope

[ poetry - november 10 ]

To my best-kept, Quasimodo

Like you, I have one eye
which is good, my other
a glossy, pussed growth,

a tumour. I could pluck it out,
say I have sinned Father,
seen far and away

too much of Esmeralda
through blue, stained-
glass panes: her sleight-

of-foot, bangled wrist, Notre-
Dame de Paris drowning
under her deft Paparuda.

But I won't, having seen us,
the cliché, escape the rain
to climb my stone belfry;

feel the pull and hear the toll
from which a music makes
straight once-wasted bone.

 

Wheelchair, recast as an area of pastoral interest

most evil scaffold, leveled
and controlled by the spirits;

wing-black, spectral white mass;
crass imposition upon the meadow

formed of iron-carbon alloy - steel -
and foam; folk dance of spoke,

wheel, tire, seat, the latter two
to which, flush out of the field,

the executed calf
and ewe contributed;

cold construction site;
social / medical model slag-

heap, and how for years
a man has worked on her,
 
Bach in the background,
bounding over the vales