The ministry of works

I think how different
       the world would be
if the gasmen
       digging up the road
outside my house
       had taken a vow of silence

But no – it’s early morning
       and they gather
and their excited chatter
       is as though
they had not seen
       each other for years

The foreman arrives
       at eight on the dot
and sets them to work
       : only the drills and
the mechanical diggers
       finally silence them

John Lyons


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