the bears

at the commencement of their hibernation,
those in city square
could hear a brass latch slipping
and a bolt wiggling then clicking,
then the pair begin a bickering unlike anything anyone
had laid ears on before.

at this point one knew that summoning
those sullen souls within the home
was futile in a way like sucking marrow from a bone.
the window shields of shutters firmly tied in twine and rubber
while the chimney coughs a dense balloon of charcoal black in scorn.
the outdoor tap was stolen by some ragged wretch
in buttoned, ironed polyester sheets, round Halloween the former year.
The same young, spoilt pester hollered from their past ancestors,
eloquent and false testaments, like a banshee in a fit.

better less we say of him.

dulcey at the window, fingers tangled in the curtain.
while lester pulls her by the hair, demands they need to eat first.
ladles with a milk jug into bowls as big as buckets,
tender purple pig hocks, lentils, cabbages and mullet.
tearing with a fist a lump of day old bread gone crumbling
around the edge, asks that dulcey say the prayers and tuck in
a napkin at her collar, wait until the stew has cooled
and fetch a knife and butter, sit upon the kitchen stool.

at the commencement of their hibernation, those in city square
could hear a motor humming, then a slow, deliberate cutting,
then the sound of gentle tutting and a thump within the pit.

better less we say of it.