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The Ass

by Kate Thompson

Evening mourner,
Bearer of loads,
Redundant now,
The ass.

His body rounds for want of work,
His toes curl up for want of care,
But he remains
And is not forgotten.

Our feet are on concrete,
Our heads in the air,
And I can squander as well as the next one
That which is mine
And that which I have no claim to.

Beneath the cling-wrap
Nothing has changed.

I am the poet
Who knows the ass
Who knows the earth
Who knows the earth
And mourns in the day’s last hour.

Times past,
Times to come again.


Taken from ‘Roughly Speaking’ (1991), page 8.

Kate Thompson

The City