The Rainbow Factory

The facts are important:
earlier today jihadi bombers fast-tracked
themselves to paradise in Brussels airport.
TV kept showing a man, his leg blown off
propped on an elbow blinking at his watch
like his flight was unaccountably delayed.

New York at Ground Zero:
the day is sunny with medium wind chill,
the pollen count high for the time of year,
mostly maple, lime and juniper.
At the 9/11 Memorial they’re recycling
all the tears that ever fell and still fall,
over black slate walls in sparkling nets
though which young rainbows play
with difficulty, practicing colour like scales.
No pot of gold, just a fathomless hole.

Advisory signs say:
VISITORS ARE INVITED TO TOUCH
THE MEMORIAL NAMES PANEL.
Some stroke. Some brush. Some poke.
Some finger trace what they fear to lose
because what has a name cannot die
under this sky torn to wild blue ribbons
by all the bright new banks.

The South Tower:
with the heel of my hand
I rub and press the raised brass letters
ENGINE 6. NEW YORK FIRE DEPT.
as if there was some dumb luck in it,
celebrating neither death nor life
but the clattering ladder in between.
Back on TV, they’re herding up suspects
who only lived round the corner.

This is the title poem of Mark’s full collection, available after 27.9.16 from Templar Poetry here  http://templarpoetry.com/products/the-rainbow-factory

 

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