DEN December 2009

First he shoots the heron in mid-dip,
lets the river thin the blood then hauls
his bird over rocks and rusty bed springs;
a car seat tipped towards the flow,
to his world away from the world.
He’s plucking faster than those Poles out east
with their beakless broilers bald and smooth,
ready for the scald. Two pillows full of soft
grey down - somewhere to lay his fucked-up
head, having poured his life into the first deep cut.
Next, he stamps the waste into muddied ground
ignoring that dead, round eye reflecting his.
Pops a Fosters, gulps it down. Thirsty work
it is, preparing food. Something his Mam’s never done.
Last lesson, Geography, with sunlight spilling
on to ox-bow lakes and the salted Aral Sea.
“Open your books at page twenty-three,” says
Miss Jones-Davies, smelling blood and beer.
“Beaks,” quips the lad whose Da’s just left
the splintered nest. Who feels the gun warm and snug
against his leg. Swan Vestas burning a hole in his pocket.
Smoke already up his nose...