A Walk In The Park

A walk in the park. Municipal green space, there for all

to share. Somewhere to rest, to play,

a grassy mattress on which to lay and daydream,

or just to sit, not think of it, whatever it might be.

Somewhere out of the house, away from the cares

that are there everywhere, somewhere open,

somewhere you can feel free and fresh and human.

Council workers come to manage it, to mow and trim

and make it fit for people who just want to go for

a walk in the park.

Broke my heart today.

I saw it all from yards away, the stuff they’d dumped:

the plastic bottles, paper bags, tossed off wraps

of fish and chips, empty cans, all the crap

they drop and leave for someone else to hump away.

‘Keeps them in a job,’ I’ve heard them say,

the little knobs. I’ve seen them do it everywhere,

littering without a care, dropping crisp bags, dirty rags,

cast-off shoes and old school bags, crumpled six-packs,

shattered wine and cider glass, with not a wrack

of concern on their slack faces. None of this

concerns them. Life is shit, and they believe that

for them it always will be, so they shit on it in return,

depositing the excrement of their existence wherever they go.

They go everywhere, leaving their droppings all over the world.

It comes out in the world, too, in the living things,

the growing things, the things we eat and drink.

They should think again, these future fathers and mothers.

Some day in the future, with others, with their own issue,

their own children and grandchildren, their own little lambs, by god,

by then polluted with the shit and bits which these here now

see fit to litter this green, unpleasant land,

some day they, too, will want

a walk in the park.

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