"Three sorrows," Gail Atkinson-Mair (Italy)
Jan 21, 2010
You call me to the window, not quite sure,
“I really get the feeling we’ve got fewer moles
—must be the cat.” An end to an unending war,
you grin and raise your glass. You’re right. The holes
that spotty-dicked the grass and made me think
of crazy golf have by some miracle grown rare. I
frown and look away, then crash the dishes in the sink
and fumble, ill at ease. Alarm bells ring—but why?
There’s something not quite right today—
a smooth expanse of light rich green and not one
mole hill to be seen; a thousand velvet diggers gone.
We look at one another and although
our mud-filled brains urge us to stay
our guts tell us—it’s time to go.
She’s like the flies that buzz around inside
the house, alight on window, table, chair
and then take off. She stands, she sits, she looks
around a moment, then she’s off. Eyes wide
she searches, checks, then stops. Smoothes hair
from face, swipes dust from books.
She’s pulled the plugs and fixtures out,
switched off the mains, “Not there,” she said.
She’s gone outside and come back in,
It isn’t there. You know it’s not! I want to shout
and make her stop. The buzzing in her head
will drive her mad. She grabs the radio and plugs it in
then plugs her ears. Her face is grey
“Stop it now,” she screams at me, “and make it go away.”
My Back Yard
I had to come before I go insane.
The plant you built has side effects: I vomit, weep,
have dizzy spells and I’m depressed. The pain
from pressure in my ears keeps me from sleep—
I wake up drenched, have jitters, palpitations.
Your “silent” noise impairs my concentration—
I think you call that torture.
I no longer have a garden or a view, your
symphony of turbines has drowned the song of nature.
You say you’ve done what is required by law
but tell me where do people feature?
How old are you, Ms May? Aha, the menopause . . .
We call this problem, “NIMBY,” I think you’ll find . . .
Damn right, you are. It’s not in your back yard—it’s mine.