Poetry

The ramp

Lambs to the slaughter,
we played under the ramp.
Gangplank, dead-end, chasm.
Beneath: inside the belly
of an inland ship.

Under the ramp
sky cut through cracks.
Dust motes flew jagged
and the stench
was close-packed
and scared; a hulk,
a transport. We acted
out convict escapes.

Sky cut through cracks
and marked our faces:
when the lambs
were ready for the truck
we had to shut down
operations. Clear out.

Up from the yards
pissing and shitting,
a scramble for up,
gangway to foodless
waterless compression.

Elysian Fields, tickets
of leave, shifting surfaces,
planks stretching -
pastoral manqué -
while all at sea
as beige paddocks
fade away.

Lambs to the slaughter,
we played under the ramp.

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