Slash, burn and spoil. Our bare earth policy
has won small wars, deprived invaders
and their spavined mounts of sparse necessities
as we plied ripping hooks, flamethrowers,
scythes and menstrual blood to void our meadows.
Yet aftermath persists, coyly unfurling
pale bannerets on stubblefields
where only Crex pratensis (aka the landrail)
nests - a scruffy cinder reluctant to yield
its stubborn inch to griping soldiery.
Refugees fare worst. Emaciated wanhopes
stumbling across thus-far-unbroached
potato-clamps at the limits of our steppes -
fancying themselves whole moments reich
und mehlig before they bloat in some ditch.
Had we the dogs, our dogs would root them out,
yelping at the scent of bonemeal.
She-wolves holler for lost cubs tonight.
Baboushka turns the spit. Our topsoil
fattens on bad dreams of whiskered barley.