THE DEATH OF A BABY ANNABELLE
A cot sank to the bottom of this lake,
legs spinning vinyls on damp turntables
which replaced the pebbles, trembled the bedrock,
grooved with the pondweed and reed roots.
Amelia ditched her baby Annabelle here
and aborted her plans for the future,
like brown and crusty lily pads
eloping downstream with the foam of tiny waterfalls.
A Jazzman played her babydoll a tune
through a saxophone without keys,
and his Drummer beat her happy
with dropped sticks and mismatched plastic buckets.
Somewhere in a riverside bar, his Texan partner
tried to drown his nasal anxieties
in scotch and bourbon, hoped
the bartender wouldn’t see the sweat marks
darkening at the pit of his stomach, under his hat.
But the bartender was blind
and the barstool half-sunk in the floorboards,
so no one could blame him for staring at her cleavage.
He was actually musing the rack behind her; the snooker cues
wondering if there really was any difference
between themselves and their billiard cousins.
Outside the bar, a man without a home
got to play in boxes and pretend he lived in a castle;
when he moved he shouted noises like engines
because really he was travelling in a race car.
But the police officer said he’d caused a ‘public disturbance’
so tore them down and bashed them with batons.
The children looked at him strange
pulled their mothers’ sleeves –
although they didn’t expect the coats
to float away into the sky,
to disappear beyond the clouds
and weep amongst the orphan balloons
of careless little hands.
The bin-men looked on, took out the black bags,
threw them into the maws of metal mulching.
Inside the mouth of the monster, teddy bears,
alarm clocks, banana peels, cigarettes, cardboard boxes,
plastic buckets, microphone stands, glass bottles,
a baby Annabelle’s hands, fish bones, vinyls,
TVs, magazines, coats, cots and cues, were chowed down,
chewed up with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
It was getting late,
so Amelia left the park.
The funeral was tomorrow morning.