Poem — Fleur Adcock


When we heard the results of our tests
we felt rather smug (if worried);
we said to each other loudly in public
“Well, that’s it for space‑travel;
we mustn’t go up there again.
We can’t afford to be bombarded
with any more radiation, dammit!”

No more risks: that was the policy.
In which case what are we doing here
scrambling along this rocky gorge
with hardly a finger‑hold to bless us,
and the bridge down, and a train coming,
and the river full of crocodiles?
(I think I invented the crocodiles.)


Fleur Adcock

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