I am the nail, braces for belt,
that extra pin, secure the lid,
not fully beaten, hammer face –
in fact I stand aloft from plane
of cedarwood, patina-grain.
I am too proud for clean sweep wipe,
and caught by duster’s fabric hem,
I now display my linen scrap,
a flag pole like an ensign plaque,
nailed firmly, colours to the mast,
neck outcrop, cheek, resistant claw,
apprentice sign, too much, sore thumb –
like power displayed upon a cross,
a label, notice, crowning line.
While all else lies quite naturally,
it’s I alone who make my mark,
a catcher in the ply, might say,
spike metal stance that draws the eye.
Those millimetres, top raised clear,
enough for disproportionate
influence on the overall,
caretaker’s coat, its worn cuffs torn –
for taking care has price to bear –
now polished off, production line,
as coffin nail, my final act –
less head is raised, that lock removed.
Stephen Kingsnorth (Cambridge M.A., English & Religious Studies), retired to Wales from ministry in the Methodist Church, has had pieces published by on-line poetry sites, including Poetry Potion, printed journals and anthologies. https://poetrykingsnorth.wordpress.com/