That’s their English name.
Who in the name of
the jealous God
of your worshipping
thought that a good naming?

Look there.
The long rows of filled in ditches
still mark the French seams
of thrawn, hard won growing,
dragged from a spiteful soil.
In the harshness of hail
and gale you dug here;
in the bitterness of rain
and sleet you sowed
for a necessary feeding
of hungry mouths,
your only audience
black backs, herring gulls
and the opportunist crows
(who need no naming).

Listen now.
The vibrant silence holds
the memory of your toiling.
The aching of your back and
the blisters on your hands
caoin down the winds of
forgotten years.

Let those who call them
‘Lazy-beds’ dig -
let them dig;
let them dig through
the hungry years and learn.

And let them learn
the callousness of naming.

©  Elfstone  31/3/10
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