Wild Court

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

‘Work of Forgetting’: a poem by Rowland Bagnall

Image by Shruti Khanna from Pixabay


    Work of Forgetting


I travel by a stagecoach often down adventurous avenues, wool
-gathering a landscape through which stagecoaches arrive and go.

This is what I see today: – a wide-eyed traveller; the ground turning
to mud streaked with the furrows of a coach ahead; the streaks

filling with water like a silver sky beneath the mud; that sky grasping
its clouds like handfuls of adjusted flowers. The horses are blinkered,

running in and out of sync; the hedges blur with naked twigs like rain
in chaotic wind. In the mud-flecked distance, a generic town. In the road,

mounting a rise, a deer. Somewhere beyond this is the unmade sea to
which all this is (headlong) rushing. The frantic landscape churns with life

until I wake, rushing along myself, the sky drawing a blank above,
my coach swaying and tilting. Through the window I see fields

of sheep, recalling a time I would never have noticed them, the road
slipping beneath the wheels, the wheels rotating like an eye.