A Politician’s Conscience by Neil Fulwood

Urban legend had it sequestered
in underground storage, protected
with keycodes and failsafes,
enwreathed with more protocols
than the launch codes
on a nuclear sub. That, or packed
in an unmarked crate and stored
in a restricted-access facility,
between some artefact of biblical
provenance and a child’s sledge
with the word Rosebud
painted on it in faded script.
 
But I found it in an alleyway
between a benefit office
and a food bank, the kind
of cut-through you’d take care
to avoid if you wanted your face
leaving alone; if you wanted
your wallet to remain in your pocket.
It was wrapped in a week-old copy
of the Daily Mail and dumped
behind a skip, like the products
of a back street surgical procedure
badly botched and non-refundable.
 
It was a mess. I felt like heaving
as I peeled back the newsprint
but then I realised what it was
and why they’d got rid of it.
That’s when I heard the engines
and sirens, men shouting orders
and the growling of dogs. That’s
when the chopper stabbed its beam
into backyards and gardens. I took off
at a run and haven’t stopped since.
I keep thinking of Pandora’s box
and the one thing left, but I might
 
 be wrong. They’re closing in.
Neil Fulwood is the author of film studies book 'The Films of Sam Peckinpah'. His poetry has been featured in The Morning Star, The Stare's Nest, Butcher's Dog, Monkey Kettle, Nib Magazine and Ink Sweat & Tears. He divides his time between the pub and cinema, and somehow manages to hold down a day job.

Neil Fulwood is the author of film studies book ‘The Films of Sam Peckinpah’. His poetry has been featured in The Morning Star, The Stare’s Nest, Butcher’s Dog, Monkey Kettle, Nib Magazine and Ink Sweat & Tears. He divides his time between the pub and cinema, and somehow manages to hold down a day job.

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