today                                                      the leaves cry

              three thousand

              green tears

              for the leached out sky


the sun burns


at a breathless fog                              that winds itself


until it becomes a shroud


around the trunk

       of a dead man


seeps and pools               spools

                                                        like blood

in the hollows

of his wounds

they found him

early and half buried

              hooded and tied

              dispatched with five freshly

              scabbed over

       gunshot wounds

one in the head

   one in each limb

                 at the joint

              Constable Hughes met her

face at the front door

              removed his hat

                     brushed away the sweat

       she wept


out in the garden

                     the young boy swung

                 at the end of a rope


his shouts                                              hung on branches


and in the house crying


heart-sore                         ripped bare                     sighs


words swept away


       by the wind

from Dissonances (Bluechrome Press, 2007), © Nigel McLoughlin 2007, used by permission of the author

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