A Modern Midden

Modern midden

Beneath planks of layityourselfdecking.com
lies a foot of sticky stamped-on red clay
above a layer of rich fertile soil
where a keen first-time gardener
planted carrots for one season only
and a cat skeleton, with a slack flea collar
sleeps forever in wicker remains

a splintered rocking-chair with legs splayed
the oilcloth seat stuffed with horsehair
and pierced by crumbling coiled springs
deeper a wrought iron gate crushing a 70’s suitcase
with rust circles and lines and a concrete post
compacting it into the ground

a naked Barbie with painted lashes
blue eyes dimmed by the trash
no longer a little child’s treasure
a grandchild has i phone Barbie games
but that’s okay just throw it away

what’s this straight jaw full of teeth
the smoothness of piano keys
quick grab the ivory sell it to China
or send it to a Gaberone museum
for when there are no elephants left
majestically walking the savannah
and no savanna for an elephant to walk


8 thoughts on “A Modern Midden

  1. Evocative piece of prose Gilly. Our throw away society is created from a manufacturing and marketing mania that creates products that cannot be repaired and then markets them as a must have. Why do people have to have a new phone every year when the old one is still working perfectly.

  2. I saved this for later – and now later has come! I wanted time to read and savour, but then it got overlaid with life-chaos.

    As always with your poetry, I love it. It’s a powerful critique with your signature humor-with-a-barb, and scary specificity. I’ve always been fond of lists and their capacity to comment by juxtaposing: carrots and cat skeleton, seventies suitcase, naked Barbie with painted lashes. And then the sting in the tail -no elephants and no savannah. Thanks for reminding me – I’d’ve missed a pleasure.

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