The rivet

I tramped like a hobo
Across the rock-littered moor
Outcrops of stippled, lined rock
Stacked layer upon layer
The folds of the long-gone puthering lava, still evident
Blancmange blobs of plaster on the builder’s hawk;
By myself, alone on the lonely moor
Except for the litter of life all around,
Heather alive with sound,
Tufted grasses, antennae twitching in the air waves
To catch a water droplet
Or a Russian broadcast;
Glossy gorse needles set to stun,
And Cotton Grass nodding its disapproval
As my careless feet print their way
Through the sucking sphagnum.
A mere glint, a visual tripwire, made me look
A winking jewel, eyeing me suspiciously
A coin of sorts, misshapen by years, curved
Like a claw or talon,
Old? Perhaps a Ducat or Sheqel – priceless?
I briefly dreamed that I had the knack
For spotting Dollars, Dòngs and Dinar
But, no
It turns out I was Talentless;
It was a rivet, misshapen, deformed by age,
The friction between bridle or stirrup maybe
Or the broken connecting-rod
Of some Knight’s plate-mail,
Snapped by the pleasure-less frottage
Of iron upon iron, year upon year.
Like Bilbo’s ring, the rivet has a new home now,
Nestled amongst the broken crumbs
Of low-fat taste-free rice cakes
Old Kleenex, shiny with the dried slug
Smears of weeks old snot
And the rustling chrysalis of unused poo bags;
When the pocket of my old coat
Finally gives up, the rivet will fall
To a new place; amongst the leaf litter
In a lime-lined park; or on the floor of a charity shop
Sold as seen
Or maybe in that strange circularity of life,
On a rock-littered moor, hidden amongst
Outcrops of stippled, lined rock,
The folds of the long-gone puthering lava, still evident.

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