Drop a shroud over a country –
food aid, shelter, nightfall,
enough to forget about it, let
it get by.
You can walk right up to it,
whip off the covers –
an angle-poise lamp under sack,
Silent, contoured, like camouflage
netting pulled over a tank –
there are handholds,
footfalls for the blind.
You like to imagine the conundrum –
an ant crossing a table-top comes upon
a sugar cube 1cm by 1cm by 1cm:
how far is added to its journey? –
that a shirt hung from the nozzle
of a tank might obscure it,
that you could walk across
a country covered in such a fashion –
tottering over plate, doll, bone
and crush them without noticing –
a sprawling landfill, a Milky
Way teeming with animals,
a bee in the hand.
Matt Bryden's first collection, Boxing the Compass, is available directly from the publisher for £8.99, postage free worldwide.