Rye Lane in a time of war by William Anthony Hatchett

We wrap our jeopardy in winter layers
As if unaware of the hostilities
a man is selling vegetables in the square.
The whispering leaves are our enemies.

In their crimson coats, they are warriors.
Their sole purpose, to return to the ground.
‘The earth is great,’ they cry out
as they pull the ripcord and plunge earthbound.

We wear our solemnity like old clothes
with a vague sense that we have been here before
recalling our ancestors in silent remembrances.
Like they were, we are at war.

Childhood by William Anthony Hatchett

The large house was silent and cold
I let myself in with a latchkey.
Rarely chastised, I did what I was told.
There was no lively clamour at tea.
Father made it clear that I
would never meet his expectations.
He never praised or encouraged me.
We spoke ill of our relations –
we preferred it if they stayed away.
We played no part in our community.
We were a middle class family.
We conducted our lives stoically
on our glaciated isthmus
like ice statues, exchanged cards at Christmas.