It took ages,
a lot of ammunition, gas,
searching through papers, cross-checking of certificates,
but eventually the borders were closed,
no one in and no one out:
the nation was pure, purified.
History was going to start again,
from this moment a new era
opened up gloriously ahead of them
like a well paved road,
lined with poplar trees,
straight as nothing in nature.
One language, one approved set of stories,
one picture of the glorious leader
hung on every wall.
So the soldier at the city dock
couldn’t think of the right question to ask
the mermaid in the harbour,
as fauns trotted shyly
out of the forests, and a large griffin
landed on the parliament building.
Sid Smith has been writing poetry since he was sixteen. He is inspired by crows and foxes, madness and magic.