Little Hadrian

hadrian-sagalassosLittle Hadrian builds a plastic wall

Lego bricks slick with secret spices,

Chicken grease and almost-memories.

Though the Goddess loves your body

You’ll grow to be a killer, boy.

 

Little Hadrian hears the picket moan

As Picts and Bloods hit pavements

With blunt-bottomed pikes –

They’re marking out their territories

Left of the disused train line.

 

(Someone’s brother wants to tame

This suburb, to raze the wilderness,

To raise a voice

And burn his face on every coin

From here to Dagenham)

 

Look! Racing from the Estuary!

On wheels some say held teeth of Chrome,

Comes Streatham’s warrior queen, her

Battle moans stained blue with woad

And dripping with obscenity.

 

The old just stand and watch aghast,

A crumpled face fills weathered hands.

They call and shout to sign them up,

To send the symptom far away

And martyr youth on sand.

 

But little Hadrian’s troops stand proud,

Their boots, the boundary of youth

And age, laces trailing back three years.

The standard rises, spreads it’s wings,

And years begin their slow march in.

 

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About Benjamin Norris

Published writer of short stories, long stories, poems. Well received art critic and cultural commentator for Berlin magazines. Collaborator with operatic societies. Co-writer of fictional historic psycholinguistic journals. Lecturer of architecture and art history at a Budapest University. View all posts by Benjamin Norris

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