For days after the children leave for their homes in the South
we discover unexcavated battlefields, nonsensical as Towton.
Small formations of infantrymen guard the lower book-case shelves,
lone snipers lurk behind the curtains, and the abandoned fort,
its battered walls camouflaged with leaves and twigs,
starts to gather dust under the spare bed.
While on television we watch the bombardment
of oil-wells somewhere, the final cavalryman,
his leg twisted under him, waves his bandaged arm
from his lookout on the piano stool, urging us onward.
When I switch off lights to go to bed, the bayonet
of the foot soldier hidden in our carpet
stabs between my toes.
Mick Gidley has always written poetry, and in the 1960-70s some appeared in such magazines as Poetry (Chicago) and the Poetry Review. As a university teacher he concentrated on publishing scholarly works (see, e.g., https://www.combinedacademic.co.uk ). He hopes to see some of his newer poems in print. @GidleyMick