They came in summer, whole shoals flashing across
the dish of the moon, bound inland, breaking from waves
to skip shale and harbour walls, some snagged
on fences where they telegraphed the onrush of death
to uneasy farm dogs, others leaping hedges to rain
bullet-nosed onto bonnets,
gelid eyes smearing cracked windscreens
where drivers shook in dented wrecks,
lap deep in heads and tails,
while others hit the suburbs, poured through cat flaps,
dropped down vents to drown sleepers in basement flats,
splashed into reservoirs,
guided by miles of pipes
to fly up between the legs of those making night visits
in sleeping Midland towns. We knew it would come to this;
we knew it as we laid our nets.
First published in The Rialto 75
Roy Marshall was born in 1966. He had a variety of jobs before training
to be a nurse and working for several years in Coronary Care and research.
Roy began sending poems to magazines in 2009, the year one of his poems
was awarded second place in the Ledbury Poetry competition. His pamphlet
‘Gopagilla’ is published by Crystal Clear pamphlets and a full collection is due
from Shoestring Press in autumn 2013. Roy blogs here.