School Trip to a Gordon’s Gin Factory by Grant Tarbard

We were a circus troupe, hounds
that tumble out of the doghouse coach

Like Augustes’ piling out of a clown car
to a clattering bottling factory

With a facade dull as dishwater,
the concrete seemed to be wheezing.

A strange hush walked our backs
in scruff white muzzle shirts

Blemished by eyes that seeped blue jokes
heard by the straight buttoned tour guide

But disregarded as her ears only heard 5 PM,
ushering us, the giggling herd.

Row after row of huge steel pots bubbled
like witches cauldrons brewing mother’s ruin,

Their fireplace was stoked with angelica root
and bitter orange peel was wrapped in the workers hair.

Our spines were scented with almond and anise,
liquorice root ran along our fermented vertebrae

And all we were after was a taste of juniper
but we were packed off into that doghouse coach.

Grant Tarbard 2
Grant Tarbard is the author of the newly released Loneliness is the Machine that Drives this World (Platypus Press). Follow him on Twitter at @GrantTarbard.




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