Seven Years Later

There are words we would rather skirt around,

when the sky becomes an excuse,

or this arrangement of ducks across sloping cobbles

distracts from what we talked of last night.

We were only hypothesising, weren’t we,

about a society of amputation,

the whole bloody foreign situation?

At the turn of the road, rage between drivers

who, moments ago, were merely strangers.

From here, from this angle, the headlines

behave like a cliché, precisely,

read: ‘Everything is wrong.’

They have worn us down – or out –

and we have no more choice than

to reach for another bottle or shout.

Tom Phillips