The train rattles through the human zoo of suburbia.
A landscape cut and sold in pieces.
Bought and fenced and stamped in leases.
Nature uninvited, neighbours divided;
packed into boxes, backed onto the line.
Lacerations joining stations, held with stitches of iron.
Commuters thundering past their
backyards backyards backyards.
Green teeth grinding on the backbone of industry.
A network of nettles spilling through fences,
trespassing on the tracks, defending the gardens
while homeowners retreat into the margins.
Surrendering fragments of their lives;
sacrifices to the commuters’ eyes that
flash past and snap and snatch at
scenes of gardens filled with scraps.
Backyards full of the clutter of summer.
Benches, gazebos, ramshackle sheds,
bonfire piles anticipating the match,
bathtubs banished to the vegetable patch,
bubbling with rubble and wooden debris
belonging to unfinished projects in trees.
Barbeques black with burger cremations
and solar lights mapping alien constellations.
Stampedes of strangers staring, judging fellow man.
Faces pressed to windows, catching everything they can.
This poem formed part of my coursework for Open University module A215.