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Ding Dong

The whole village watched the crane lifting the chimney from its roof.

It almost fell. Almost falling like that couldn’t just be brushed aside. Forgotten.

It almost crushed the florist/private school girl dressed like a candidate

on The Apprentice/Bichon Frise/Methodist with flowers for chrissake.

I didn’t see them take the chimney down.

From where I sat I could only see four private school boys dressed like candidates

on The Apprentice. Each of them took a photograph of the chimney’s removal.

Each of them and probably more.

I couldn’t tell but they probably had iPhones.

They probably had briefcases. They definitely had briefcases.

Not one of them had a Greggs Sausage Roll/Sausage and Bean Melt/Steak Slice.


At some point in the 80s a myth arose.  There was a man, he probably had a moustache.

He was probably from Liverpool/Newcastle/Glasgow/Belfast.

He probably wore tracksuits.

The Witch told him, rang him for chrissake, to get on his bike.

“Get on your bike to Scunthorpe,” she said, “leave this place of the floating dead.”

What I mean by floating dead isn’t something I knew before this morning. It was Andrew Marr. He said that in the 80’s they considered letting the dead float away down the Mersey.

Into the Irish Sea with you leeches and cadavers and spongers and liabilities.

The Witch rang someone. She rang someone on a massive car phone. She rang the river pilot.

She said, “Into the Irish Sea with these deadbeats!”


I saw them take the fallen chimney away.

When I left they hadn’t replaced the chimney.

Just a roof remained. Just a roof for chrissake.

I remembered the story I’ve told too many times before.

Call it what it is; an anecdote for chrissake.

A man (moustache, from the abandoned lands, tracksuit, proficient on bikes) made a bomb.

He targeted a Conservative Club. He hoped the Witch would visit. He would wait.

He would always have his finger on the trigger.

But they started having functions at the Conservative Club and there were kids and all that.  Unexploded bomb. Unexploded history. Unexplored truths. Unexposed lies.

I’ve changed this. Anecdotal myths. A fable where hot water won’t wash her away.


I got home. I forgot about the chimney (the chimney without its state funeral).

I opened my emails.

There was only one email. No subject.  Just ‘THE BITCH IS DEAD.’

I tried to remember the look in the chimney’s eyes.

I tried not to cry. For chrissake I wouldn’t cry.


About michaeleganpoetry

Liverpool based poet and editor. I have had four pamphlets of poetry published, most recently After Stikklestad (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2010). Penned in the Margins published my first collection, Steak & Stations, in 2010.

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