Election Day, 2019
After three decades of lowering mist, a bright day
of sunlight through pine-needles, and steam off rotting fungi.
The geese are voting one way, the guineafowl another.
Left-wing drongos, dark on the wires, taunt the tabby electorate
with their forked tails, their obsidian eyes and promises.
No one believes them any more, or trusts the clouds.
The dogs bark, but the vervets’ rhetoric baffles them.
The bees have compiled their poll, but no one knows
how this day might end for them.
What does the wind think, tainted with the smoke
of loitering desires? Or the sea, tasting saltier to itself
than at any time in its leviathan memory?
Or the noonday sun, burning its hole through the sky?
Or the river, its bounty irrevocably mingled with toxins
and blood? Or the leaves left behind on the floor
of the broken forest, like the remnants of slaves?
Or the doubloons of light on the shadowed lane,
the pointless riches of overthrown kings?
A nameless man is sweeping dead leaves round
and around the parking circle; his toothless
broom splinted with someone else’s rough idea.
Curtained windows and erythrinas observe indifferently.
The night is falling, echoing with uncertainty.
The stars are counting themselves up, the heavens
impassive but for the comets inserting themselves
in the slots in the galaxies. All said and done, the sky
looks much the same. Leaves go on falling through the wind.
(c) Dan Wylie