As gypsy, tramp or troubadour, I wander
through the two-doored office of the Borough:
ailing benefactor, dying god decrepit.
The keeper keeps me waiting, aching
in this cubicle beneath dire lighting.
She is warder to the meagre hoard,
squandered birthright of the people,
coffers of the unrequited tithe.
I am rootless, roofless, but for these shoes,
my broad hat of brimmed leather;
she, no draconian, dresses in dragon-hide;
lizard riddles, pretty, encrusted armour,
soft compliments that turn blood.
I know six-thousand trusted spells for “help,”
releasing them in spinning volleys.
She deflects each one with cantrips, holy-signs –
eye of gecko, sprig of holly, spray of yarrow –
we are wholly rung-around with echoes.
No give, no chink or niche, I am cast out.
A wall of brick, a barricade but not a house.
Gram Joel Davies lives in Somerset, UK. You can read his recent work in The Journal, The Lake, Spontaneity and others. He reads with Juncture 25 poets. He tweets @poplarist.