The poem on the hill went
to considerable expense:
bought an O.E.D., threw in
a big Webster's for good measure,
hired a licensed contractor
to build a chain-link fence,
installed his own hand-lettered
No Trespassing signs, & waited
in his living room, & looked:
joggers with wire-cutters cut tall holes
in the fence. Kids scaled it
just for fun. Sometimes bums
took refuge under the flyleaves of the Webster's
& howled weird words, moon or no moon.
Lovers would leave used rubbers.
And the poem looked on, emaciated,
his land occupied by the invading force
of the vulgar, wild words echoing
in his delicate ears, I can't call the police,
he said, I just can't,
wringing his bony hands,
perhaps I'll move to England.

Gerald Fleming
Contents | Mudlark No. 3
14 16