Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

‘Neighbours’ – a poem by Mark Russell




Grant was exhausted. I leaned over the shrub and watched him trying to hit a five-foot high stake into the ground. He isn’t a tall man and this was hampering his progress. This, combined with the fact that he would be better off using a long-handled roughneck sledgehammer rather than his trusty shorter handled lump hammer, was also a clear handicap. This, and the ground was hard and dry on account of the hottest May on record, and he had neither watered it nor dug a deep enough hole. And even if he had, the hole was too wide. I knew Grant was under pressure from his wife Jenny to rebuild the fence to keep the deer away from her roses. I knew this because my own wife Jenny told me. ‘Did you see the game last night?’ I said. He was relieved to break for a minute or two. ‘They deserved to lose,’ he said. ‘How?’ I said. ‘All this bloody ‘playing out from the back’ drives me mad,’ he said. ‘If I was a ref, I’d send off the whole bloody back four the second they start with that nonsense. That would put an end to it.’ A robin landed on the stake and watched us. ‘Better get on,’ Grant said, pointing at the other seven stakes lying on the ground. Two woodpigeons began to call from a few doors up. ‘If I had a gun,’ he said. ‘Want a hand?’ I said. The robin flew away. ‘That’s all right, thanks,’ he said, picking up his hammer. ‘It’ll only take a minute.’






One response to “‘Neighbours’ – a poem by Mark Russell”

  1. Wild Court – Mark Russell avatar

    […] I have a poem in the international poetry journal of King’s College London. It can be read here. […]