BEHIND THE SCENE

Head to spine thrust forward at a 45 degree angle
the porter bears a rope slung boxed refrigerator
topped with a flat rectangular package

Leaning into the graded rise like a donkey beneath a ledge
porting the mountain on its back
always in the shadow, pushing slowly step by step

When will we see the man who dispatched you?
The one who topped your load
with the purchase he would not carry

in the back seat of his car? Why is he out of the frame?
And the twelve year old hastily fleeing the bus park
Disheveled, unwashed, unfocused eyes wide almost wild

It’s not the first time she’s been used there
Is it the men lounging round the shed
or leaning back in the bus half asleep,

or the boy standing at the gateway drawing on a cigarette
who should be called into account?
If questions are raised, and questions should be raised,

the answers lie behind the scenes,
outside the frames.
Within the poem, another poem lies in wait

Between the lines of that text
is the absent unspent voice that must be raised
and heard

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