Rebecca Hainsworth – End Point

09/08/10 Cap Gris Nez, France.

Here I am, living in the time
beyond the end point.
I walk the windy beach road,
stubbing my toes on stones
kicked up by my tired sandals.

The fields of gold on either side
have faded to a dull yellow
in this greying light. I brush
the corn stalks with an outstretched
wing of fingers – alas, no Midas touch.

The stalks become a row of cows
on my right. How I envy their slow life.
They stare at me like POWs, behind
their slices of barbed wire. A silent jury,
colourless faces follow me as I pass.

The German bunker looms on the horizon.
Still self-important despite
the cracked concrete and mane of moss.
It lurks amongst a host of trees,
planted some seventy years before to conceal.

I arrive in the doorway. Discarded
cigarette butts and the broken glass
of beer bottles crunch beneath my feet.
I venture in – eyes adjust to the dark,
and slump in the corner; desperate for a fag.

But I gave up that habit because
I couldn’t stay away from you.
(One out of two ain’t bad…)
Now I’m sitting amongst old ghosts,
in the belly of a sentry for nothing, no one.

It has served its purpose, witnessed
its battles. Now without a cause.
To my left is the coast – and the sea
is blind and bored. Today even
the sky has drawn a blank.

And I sit in the gloom, pondering
the bitterness of this oblivion.

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