The angel lay flat on her back
staring up at a pale blue sky.
I couldn't get over the shock - nine feet
she'd stood on her stockinged toes.
Her wings lay broken.
So many bits. Like headstones for dolls.
Just stuck in the grass.
The Churchyard Guardian gone - good as!
And a short way off, the House of the Dead.
Now a pile of old rubble. The wolf
had been round and he'd huffed and
he'd puffed and brought the house down.
The small mausoleum had folded. Collapsed.
Now they'd nowhere to go - the dead we
had feared. Apart from all that...
Relief. A result. Some headstones cracked.
Tipped over. All higgeldy-piggeldy. All
at odd angles - odder than usual, I mean.
It had been a near miss, it was said.
No houses had gone - except for the dead's.
Just stones thrown about, a smell here and there
that came from a grave. But nothing to save.
The engine had cut over us - or so
we had thought. Then silence and fear.
The wait for the bang. Seemed never to come.
Just the whine of hard steel coming down.
Then dust and white plaster. Just one window gone.
Some cracks. No disaster. Not as close
as we'd thought. The church and the school.
A row of small houses - long since condemned.
The pub and the shop. It just missed them all.
Fell where the dead went to ground.
My friend took a piece of the angel's wing.
I had a bit of the doodlebug's fin -
You can make out of that what you will.
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