Litkicks Message Board Archive

Dead Body in the Burn

Posted to Action Poetry




A burn is a small stream in Scotland. I don't know if other countries use that term, but that's what it is.


    it was just a humble little bridge that crumbled
    under the council's bull dozer and bared the burn
    running along its pathway undisturbed by progress
    as the bus waited at the lights and vibrated
    in the lunch time sun like a dog
    tired after chasing a ball in the park.

    apparently it wasn't strong enough to cope
    with modern
    traffic demands
    and had to be rebuilt, stronger than before.

    I remember when I heard the news, years ago,
    that my friend had found a dead body floating
    face down in the burn one night around Halloween.
    He thought it was a Guy Fawkes Guy left there
    in the tangle of dead branches and soggy, rotting leaves.
    He poked the body with a pole and reeled back in horror
    as he saw the painful face, gripped in fear, dead in the burn,
    looking back at him as he threw up his dinner and shivered.