Poem in Which My Grandfather is a Unicorn

My drill-bit bonce is a power tool,
pure Black & Decker. I don’t joust,
but bore and cork; laborious blue-
collar spirochete. I gauge, I weigh
and counter-sink. Pallid navvy, I
plot courses, grade curves
and warble loony shanties
under a flimsy, freeloading moon.

In summer my kinked withers steam
as I doss by the flat, brown pond
and champ at my baccy.
There- with any luck- some stringy,
somnolent blonde will fodder me up
bruised apples; smear Deep Heat
on my sweated flanks.
This is what passes for pleasure.

Winter’s worse, and when
that chilly bastard
climbs in at the window
me and my muckers huddle.
In the cold-clammy dark we are a row
of raised middle fingers. We glow, spark
and jar; rare as uranium rods, we are,
and twice as bloody depleted.

Sometimes, the ganger has us gouge
staves in the frozen ground
for come mister tally man, tally me
a coffin. And sometimes
he wants we should lance and spar
and Toro! Toro! while the overseers
spill tinnies and lay bets.

It is bad, but not that bad.
Yous can always nuzzle
with some ruddy bawd,
have her hanky-knot
your Billy-beard; there’s
the cider-squishy tang of her,
lank and gold as dirty straw.

That, or yous can dream. I dream
of earth what didn’t surge or churn
but greened, sweetly, keenly, me
yokeless and shiny, simpleton free.

I dream when we was High Horses,
tilting into groves of gushing sun
to munch at peerless pomegranates.

That was long ago, though. Long ago
and far away and maybe only make-believe.
Pretty fiction’s well and good, but we
are none of us children. This is life, girl,
and in the end I’m glue, you’re glue, like the rest.

Fran Lock

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