Things that can fly
by Elizabeth Gibson
You tell me, excitedly, how there is a hill in Azerbaijan
that is so full of natural gas it is always on fire. I agree
that is interesting, and maybe we can go there, but wish
your generation realised that right here we walk on coal.
A sea of carbon sits quietly under this park with its trees
and its sculpture of a face always covered in ladybirds.
It is strange how separate they seem now, even to me:
above and below, here and there, present and past, sun
and darkness. You would never know, standing in cool
air, listening to the distant whir of the motorway, bees
bumbling. At your mother’s school they did a musical
on mining, to help the kids learn about it, remember us.
They sang about pain and poverty, disasters, politics,
strikes. About the bonds between us, bravery, family,
love. I wish you had a chance to do something like it.
Instead I will bring you to the flash. This is where a pit
made the ground dip, and it filled up with water, I will
tell you, as big herons rest and tiny wrens take to flight.