by Ross Crawford
Treading the familiar walk down to the subterranean,
Threading through the coughs and splutters,
And the extended hands,
He falls into step behind a winged-rat which presumes a pursuit.
The most loathed of all the city’s denizens,
That ubiquitous urbane doo,
Unloved except by those lonely old men carrying
Their plastic bags of spare, stale Hovis.
Yet pity the unlucky many,
Whose toes are ripped away,
And hobble for the slim pickings;
The crumbs from a morning roll.
(Note: should one fly over your head,
Be thankful it’s not one of those gallus gulls).
Almost trampled into the mire, the bird quickens pace,
Weaving and careening,
Frantically trying to escape,
From the commuter’s clumping boot.
Finally, as if recalling its one gift and singular talent,
It flails out its wings and takes to flight (of sorts),
And eludes the relentless, oblivious oblivion
Of the leathered menace.