THE INCINERATOR, ON A LATE NOVEMBER DAY
It was hiding itself amongst wet flannel leaves
given up by the ghost of the earlier year - a challenge I was willing to take,
like a dustbin with holes.
Last week I had burned free offers
lurid lies and half promises
all crated in with a stick
despatched with a match or two.
Now it was different.
Old skeletons of cuttings stuck straight up
hard pruned to brace the black interior.
It wouldn't have the match, even with paper,
became bored, smouldered and puffed
in its argumentative way,
but I stood my ground in multiple fleeces,
pull down hat (without bobble)
added paraffin for quick release
re-arranged the feast for the lick of penetration
like death revived until
a thin white smoke ascended.
Skirting the chimney blast,
I took on old rotting planks with stunted nail ends;
questioning my motives for storing them over years
to hack at them,
dry them in the shed.
My wife stayed out of the fray,
visiting an aunt, out all day.
I gave her just the scant facts
without the details of sweat,
dirt, smell on the fleece.
She settled to late afternoon telly.
An inquest was not requested
not on this late November day.