Mole Traps

You almost trip on another
tipped mound of grey sand

Turned soil reverts to fulvid
shades as our strides drop

us down to a black expanse
of foul-water ditches – thick

as if cooled off tarmacadam
& stinking [once kicked up]

A retreat to my childhood &
set aside meadows [framed

by dead streams – ore-stain
& pollutant slicks – no fish]

as July sun seared a stench
without equal – we could be

smelt at 100 yards [told off
we stood peeling outdoors

to shake off boots & scabs
into pleshes of dirt & blood]

There would follow bickers
of hungry voices – boys at it

with daytime treaties forgot
when hauled from outdoors

[our at-the-end-of-my-tether
mother cannot stomach us

Why four boys – Jonathan –
not a girl – me #3 a mishap]

Best left buried – eh – Mike?
Stay keen – about molehills