When Air is Scarce as Wood

Remixed Found text: “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens,
and my recollections of December 1990, Bletchingley, Surrey

 

When Air is Scarce as Wood

No one inhales the air so near the street –
it’s blued and greyed, even in rain, and
it fills a rattling nostril sooty as coal.

We still burn coal in these parts; cheaper
than wood is scarce, but nobody inhales

the air unless your lungs be so filthy
from roll-your-owns. Or if you’re that man

sat on that bench outside the post office,
that man who’s under a blanket of booze.

The air is full of lorries and buses, so
no one inhales the air so near the street.

 

 

 

Recollections of December 1990, Bletchingly, Surrey

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