Herring Gulls of Gornal Wood

Territory echoes in a coop-caw chorus,
clattering terrace rows
as machinists break fasts,
hectic parents scrum past
speckles of teenage barks,
baby squawks. The coop-caw rasps
in snare drum claps – a guttural kaa-kaa
over this morning’s scraps. Raptored beak –
yoked with blood spot – snaps to yodel leftovers,
snaps to strike at smugglers
trying the same game.

Why am they called Seagulls, Mom,
when we ay by the sea?
Should call ’em Gornal Gulls.

The neighbour no one speaks to
wrestles through the dew
to the recycling bins,
pitched on the car park
where teens spit and swear
at the lack of new models –
‘E’s bin pickin’ on little Sammy,
‘Er’s bin pickin’ over glossy bones of celeb mags

the neighbour no one speaks to searches for plastic intimacy.

Soon, taupe spans
soar to another spot – do it all again.

R. M. Francis is a poet from the Black Country, researching his PhD at the University of Wolverhampton. His chapbook, Transitions, was published by The Black Light Engine Room in 2015. Two further pamphlets, Orpheus (Lapwing Publications) and Transform (A Swift Exit Press) are due out soon. Find him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RMFrancisPoet.

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