Bex Hainsworth’s ‘Walnut Street’

shallow focus photography of white plant

is lined with oak trees.
No sharp crack of fossilized
brain tissue, all ridges, like the inside
of a rodent’s skull, beneath my feet
as I walk to the bus stop at dawn.
Instead, cupless acorns bursting, splitting,
as furniture becomes firewood.

There is a mushroom. It seems to be
growing out of a paving stone,
pressing its bare feet against the cold slab,
far from soil, leaning wearily against a wall.
It is a pound of grimy flesh, an amputated limb.

Passed over, like a beggar in a doorway,
head bowed beneath his grey-brown cap.
Displaced, rootless, lonely, in a land
with a strange name that doesn’t match,
from forests and fields to this urban plot.
I pause, and mourn for this mushroom:
a headstone for all the disinherited of the earth.  

Meet the Poet

Bex Hainsworth (she/her) is a bisexual poet and teacher based in Leicester, UK. She won the Collection HQ Prize as part of the East Riding Festival of Words and her work has appeared in Visual Verse, Neologism, Atrium, Acropolis Journal, and Brave Voices Magazine. Find her on Twitter @PoetBex.