Sunday, April 15, 2007

NaPo 07 #15: The Hoodeners

This one's a substantial rewrite of one of last year's NaPo efforts. I make no apologies for this.

Snowdrop (the 56th part):
The Hoodeners


She sits in the boughs of a birch tree
alert, listening to the litany of profanities
growing louder: a lurching draggle
of men scratching an unsteady path
through the moonlit muds of the wood.

Beneath her feet they file in line:
their leader a lad who limps with a stick;
then a man in drag, his dress a mess
of rags and patches - he repeats a tune
of whistles and hisses through whiskers and teeth.

The troupe behind him trample and stamp
their heels the beat. At the back trails
a terror of bone and broken feathers
impaled on a pole - a painted skull
with a metalled jaw. A man the size
of a sturdy house is heaping a stream
of abuse on the rider - a boy who lies
on a bed of bramble with bouts of laughter
bubbling smears of snot down his chin.

She smiles at the sight, suppresses a giggle.
The boy in his mirth marks her presence -
he shouts and points: "A pox on the saints!
I've found us an audience! Let's entertain her!"

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