the little congregation scattered
to roasting tins and claret
we climb the church tower,
one father and his two sons,
stone steps screwing us heavenwards,
the tower stinking of winter,
its four bells hanging in a bat chamber
like green bombs,
their detonators fouled with bad years.
The screw tightens us
up into the darkness of God,
one boy now mewing in his confinement,
upwards to the last step, litter of wasp corpses and
a worm wood hatch which we shove through,
head-first into daffodil light.
Below us the plough greening and
hill copses budding out to glory,
the hunched Plain waking
and down the village street our house,
its thatch dark with spring rain,
our blooming apple trees
molested by one more winter
but riding now into leaf.
everything coming back to nature while,
on our knees on this parapet,
lightly armed and crouched
behind the lichen shoulders of gargoyles,
we establish firing points,
delighted as we prepare to mow down the enemy
now moving across the killing field towards us.