• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 10
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They say that as the 10.15 shudders to a halt at Turnham Green
a weary soldier shakes the desert sand from the folds of his combats
his senses still assaulted by the sulphurous stink of battle
and the lingering tang of sweat and desperation on his tongue.
He ponders his senseless role in thousands of years of bloodshed.
I am tired of killing he declares to no one in particular and
is overheard by a young woman lugging a lawn mower.
She is disenchanted with her life spent perfecting the pristine
pastures of the rich whilst reducing whole ecosystems to dust
and slaughtering small creatures between the vicious blades
of her cumbersome belching machine.
….Tired of killing? She murmurs bleakly and finds that it is true.
Gently they wipe the tears from each other’s eyes and gasp at
their mutual epiphany and by Aldgate East their pact
is sealed and their sinewy limbs entwine.

They disembark at Upminster and erect a sturdy
bivouac in a lay by just off the Dagenham bypass and there
they feast off roadkill and wayside weeds and swim in the
murky canals and raise impossibly beautiful children
who chase butterflies and maybugs and can sometimes
be glimpsed playing endless naked hide and seek
in the long grass.

They say the trains lie abandoned their drivers
having long since departed their cabins and
staggered gratefully towards the light.