Bow wave

I
First the men came.
Marking out, small stakes, painted tops, nestled in the hedgerows
Barely noticed, walked-past, dogs sniffed and peed-on
Then they posted the signs up
Simple things, black on white, line drawings
Quarrying soon, consultation, hot air

II
Then the diggers came.
Scraped the grass off, ripped away the top soil
Murdered the fields, raped the trees
Millennia old, gone, in a piping whistle
Trill, unheard, silent screams
Heard by millions, but not us

III
Then the bulldozers came
Harsh; spewing; yellow; alarming
Their curved shields, pushed by ten thousand horses
A curving arc of land, my land, rising, gone
In a bow wave of sand, and soil, and grit
Dust, fumes, pain, hurt

IV
Deeper they pushed.
At first three feet, then six
The water rose, gritty, dirty, seeping
Then three fathoms, then six
For what?
For gravel, for roads, for the building blocks of progress

V
But to no avail, we will lose, will man
Soon the ice will come again
Not long now, the glaciers
When the Stream turns, the cold will come again
Ice; harsh, gliding, white, crunching, rock-armed
Its curved shield, pushed by a million years
Will cleanse the land again of us
In a bow wave of sand, and soil, and grit, and man

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