She is coming, can’t you hear her? Can’t you feel the tingle, the goose-pimples? She is gathering momentum, gushing over the black waters of the angry estuary, searing through the marshes, belly torn ragged by the dried winter grasses. Three avocets shiver on the flood, as she lifts their feathers to inspect them. She is searching for something. She is fierce.
Wishes she could move like the silken silt; take her time, settling with the tide, but it’s just not her. She skims some off and carries it; a reminder. Dark green stench and tasting of blood.
She’s ancient wrath with the purest fundament, bitter, merciless. And she’s coming for us.
Surging through the woodlands, she rattles rotten ash trees, roughing up the ivy where the thrushes cling. There a wet-wipe, here a fruit-shoot bottle; she takes them with her and hurries cans clinking along the roads, spent, purposeless. She tangles the brambles and bindweed with crisp packets, plastic superheroes, bags and wrappers, she lays it all out before us, our dirty laundry. Muddied medical masks, flickering knotted bags weighted with fetid turds.
She is an avid collector of detritus. A spewer, a show-er, a spreader of
Here’s your shit
just look at it!
She is here now, where the people live, whipping, swooshing round the redbrick boxes, she ricochets along alleyway walls, rattles fences and old aerials, makes the chimneys howl. She won’t be ignored, she wants to flush us out, to prick our crevices with punishing ice. To clean and clear, and freeze us out, to cover us all with a pure-white blanket, to disinfect.
For a while, the scene is perfect – the custard powder crunch of footsteps in fresh snowfall covers our sins. The children play like they used to, outdoors, with sledges, building snowmen.
She slinks away, blown out – she tried her best. She departs with drooping shoulders at the thought of the oncoming thaw.