April poetry challenge day 14

Jane Dougherty Writes

This poem, for Paul Brookes’ poetry challenge was inspired by all three poems. You can see the images and read the poems here. I’m reproducing Kerfe’s because it’s so arresting.

KR14_shadow people_wombwell


On the edge of every town
there’s a derelict place,
where the wildflowers grow
among tumbled stones
of an industry long dead
and a past we’ve all forgot.

And among the peaceful stones
where the wildflowers blow,
in the arches still left standing
where trams once slept,
or where rail tracks crossed the river
where stevedores barked,
are encampments of the outcasts
where the shadow people live.

On the edge of every town,
at the end of every tether,
at the back of every mind,
and the limit of its patience,

is a mired misunderstanding
on both sides, and the outcome
is, instead of peace and wildflowers,
grow the burning seeds of hatred.

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