portion of the artwork for Roy White's poem

Post Punk
Roy White

The wind up here will slap you cold as a milkshake.
It rules the bog and stone of this bare hillside,
it turns the tarn below from black marble
to velvet and drives cloud-shadows across
the valley and the corrie’s facing slope
like a mesmerizing screen-saver. She

                  leaned into the slap of November air
                  on the back of his Harley, scorned
                  helmets as she scorned the sissy bar, just as she

thinks of the sign below that warned of fickle
weather and that stout boots must be worn.

                  scorned the drivers cowering in their Buicks and Oldsmobiles,
                  in fear of the speeding heavy biker and his bitch.

She finds an erratic to sit on, left behind
by a helpful glacier, and fishes through her pack:
white cheese, Ordnance Survey map, flask of tea,

                  shocked her the first time the bikers said to stop
                  talking and start sucking, the first time

apple, extra sweater, playing-card-sized
slices of brown bread. As she eats her lunch

                  they punched her in the face. She wondered, too,
                  what they’d do when they got bored. Fear and longing
                  sent her to London, the gobbing and stabbing,

local kids fly past, shouting and running
downhill in their trainers.

                  squats and the determination
                  to shoot swallow snort anything

She turns to her descent, picking her way
past puddles, over loose and slick pebbles

                  anyone thrust in her hand. London, where she found
                  her mates and later listened to their mums
                  complain that she’d helped them kill themselves

as thumbtacks of rain spatter her jacket’s back.
At the grotto Saint Brendan stands like a skateboarder
atop his tiny boat, and under Mary’s
foot her old friend the serpent is writhing.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 49 | Spring/Summer 2017