The Writer's Voice
The World's Favourite Literary Website

The March


Rusty Broadspear

Heard the crunching footsteps,

Heard the beat of drums, a giant's heartbeat.

Twilight, and the gas lamps were being lit.

The cobbled street was sweating

From the constant drizzle.

Shops were closed and boarded.

Pockets of people huddled in doorways.

Children cried.

Footsteps and drums now louder,

More insistent - threatening.

Deliveries done,

I left my bike against a wall

And stood in the middle of the street.

Someone called me from an upstairs window,

It was the jeweller's daughter.

She was always pestering me.

She was ok

Just a shame about her looks.

She was frantically pointing,

From her position she could see they were coming.

I ignored her, with an unexplainable dread.

Steps and drums in rhythm,

Deafening, encroaching, predatorial.

The sky flashed crimson,

Unseen lightening

Momentarily painting the street

Blood red.

In that instant

The trumpets, bugles, cornets and the rest,

Shrieked into life.

A pocketful of people

Half heartedly cheered,

Some I noticed

Hurried away.

A pony and trap appeared first

Black pony, black trap

The driver was tall, dressed in black

With a black top hat.

He whipped the pony with passion

And a skeletal grin.

Followed by the marchers.

Youngest first

Kids like me, my age

Except they had skills

And parents.

Parents who could afford

To have the newspapers I delivered.

The bugle boys and girls

Marched like automatons.

I stepped to the pavement.

Tears and drizzle

Make for a salty cocktail.

Then the men, all fat and proud,

The ones that couldn't play bugle

Carried banners.

Old banners that proclaimed

Stuff I didn't understand.

Their ruddy cheeks bounced

In time to the march.

Tonight they'd get drunk

At the Old Duck

Then go home and beat their wives

And tomorrow morning beat their kids.

Then on pay day

Buy their kids a new bugle

To replace the one he'd snapped in half.

A lady emerged running from a doorway

Stooped, with headscarf,

Keeping up with bannerman

She pinned a flower to his coat.

I decided to leave

Took my bike

And pushed it away,


With the dying day.

Critique this work

Click on the book to leave a comment about this work

All Authors (hi-speed)    All Authors (dialup)    Children    Columnists    Contact    Drama    Fiction    Grammar    Guest Book    Home    Humour    Links    Narratives    Novels    Poems    Published Authors    Reviews    September 11    Short Stories    Teen Writings    Submission Guidelines

Be sure to have a look at our Discussion Forum today to see what's
happening on The World's Favourite Literary Website.