Janet Lees has been published in magazines and anthologies including Magma, Poetry News, EarthLines and the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2015. She holds an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction from the University of Lancaster. Janet is a member of the multidisciplinary national arts project Documenting Britain: http://www.documentingbritain.com/
Photograph of Sudanese child and vulture, by Kevin Carter
We await our moment.
on this pinched purse of sticks.
For me it won’t be long now.
I smell it coming closer.
Your business is less clear
hidden in the desert cloud
that shrouded your arrival here.
Is it a gun you carry on your back?
Which one will you shoot?
It makes no odds. There are no ends
to the queues of us.
I wear my funeral suit lightly.
Can you say the same of yours?
What will your gut
say to your brain at 4am
when your fingers itch and click
onto blackened air?
Will this moment hold
its tongue then, or will it walk
again, calling to all the others
you’ve muzzled? You hesitate
as well you might.
Take a long hard look
with your one dark eye.
Then go home and consider
our work here today
and keep a bullet close by.
Highly Commended in the Portico Brotherton Open Poetry Prize 2014; published in the 2014 anthology.
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