I honour the rules. It hasn’t been fear
That’s kept me behind this camouflaged line;
Fêted, venerated, for years.
With its dull copper glow it has given no sign
That it bounded my actions, so obviously right;
Now it runs like a trip wire, glinting and fine
In the grass! One step now will trigger the fight;
Shudder my own bones with the weight
Of my sword; overhead, the shadowing height
Of the pillars I shake; though not out of hate:
They held up my world, and all I stood for
Until this moment. It’s not too late
To turn back from the river, within the law,
Betraying myself. No iron-tumbled walls;
No boot-crushed landscape. No civil war.
By the water, the troops are awaiting my call.
Elaine Ewart, Fenland Poet Laureate
For the Summer Exhibition at Wisbech Museum, August 2012