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Tunnel vision

Tunnel vision 

This time of year, he’s out there raking leaves,
scarifying, lifting moss and thatch,
scanning for signs of moles. 

In spring he mows on average twice a week,
resows with seed he keeps beside the bed 
and scans for signs of moles. 

In summer, if it doesn’t rain, he turns
the sprinkler on, walks up and down in spiky shoes
and scans for signs of moles, 

spreads sulphate of ammonia, attacks
young dandelions, daisies, buttercups
the second they appear, walks up and down
pushing the roller, scans for signs of moles. 

At night, behind closed lids, he sees their hands –
pale pink diggers underneath the lawn,
sees tunnels, excavations, mounds of earth,
trenches lined with bones and human skulls,
an army dressed in velvet jackets, poised. 

Ros Woolner

Ros Woolner

About this poem

Every year, Poetry on Loan runs a poetry competition for people who live, work or study in the West Midlands. This year's theme was Vision, and Tunnel vision, by Ros Woolner, was one of the shortlisted entries..

Ros Woolner lives in Wolverhampton and is a member of Bilston Writers and Cannon Poets. Her poems have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies and her pamphlet, On the Wing, was published by Offa’s Press in 2018.