A Question of Class
We passed the thieves on the road,
Our hands full of silver,
Their faces gold in the dying sun.
We were faster than they,
Horses against donkeys,
Petrol against diesel,
Honesty against truth.
A punctured cloud dropped
Into the valley, ruptured our sight,
Day blindness, dawn-dark,
Mid-afternoon, and quieted
The panting transports.
Our turn to look over our shoulder.
A concentration span shorter than a story.
We should have known.
There was nowhere to hide,
Nothing to hide, the loot obvious
On our teeth and lips, our smiles,
Our fat bellies and buckled legs.
They caught us, the thieves,
Asleep against our radiators,
Engines still warm but out of fuel,
A ringed cavalcade, a convoy of one,
In the middle of somewhere
We should have avoided,
Amateurs that we are.
They took all we had,
Everything we had lied for,
And left us with our deceit and their spoils.
We walked another mile before we gave in,
Reached for our mobile phones
And called those who rule
To save us.
Our thieves, of course, starved,
True as they were.
Wrong connections, wrong schools,
It was obvious.