English poetry

Poems in English

The Emergency Drill

The Emergency Drill

We sat in the belly of the aeroplane
And held out for sirens to swerve across the grass;
Men with cutting gear and masks. No-one came.
On a back seat, Mr. Phillips bandied jokes to pass
The time; the dark air cooling our arms
And scents like burrs stitched in hair, clothes.
In the distance we swore we heard alarms
Before HQ radioed the fire-drill’s close,
And we emerged still feigning breaks and scrapes
Led by teacher bandaged and bad at the hip,
Attentive to this miraculous escape.
Our shadows thin creatures from the Mother Ship.

*

That view of Bob Phillips’ dance down the steps
Comes back when I think of him alone
On the fairway, trailing scarves of breath
As he lugs clubs beyond the lake-side ninth for home,
And feels sharp tingles, then a rip-tide through his arm
That swells to pains across his chest.
To stand there, cry out above the calm,
And wait for hands, a touch – but Bob is destined
To collapse in thick grass, lie wide for the day
In a hide and seek open to everyone.
No-one for miles comes close to play.
His big face surprised the world is taking so long.



Poem The Emergency Drill - Chris Jones
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