We had fed the heart on fantasies,
The heart’s grown brutal from the fare.
Meditations In Time Of Civil War, W.B. Yeats
There are barricades at both ends of the street.
They have been building for a couple of days –
a skip, a burned-out pick-up, rotten timber.
Someone appears at our door at dusk or dawn,
claiming to be from one side or the other,
begging, asking, demanding contributions –
that folding chair, this old garden bench,
alcohol, books. So far only our region/district
is in turmoil, or in righteousness –
the utilities uninterrupted.
Drones are overhead. We may see ourselves,
and our predicament on the internet.
Our neighbours have gone, deserting their houses.
Possibly in time each faction will attempt
to commandeer our house, a salient –
the lead valley in the roof overlooks
one barricade, a side window the other.
Each night, once the little one is sleeping,
we review our long term options: surrender,
or starve. Short term we are optimists.
We read, draw, tell stories, play the piano.
A colony of wild bees these last few weeks
has occupied the nesting place in the eaves
starlings abandoned perhaps a decade ago.
With the little one we have studied them,
each day, dancing on air.