KIA: killed in action

In early spring, he drove his car
down narrow lanes, between bare hedgerows
parked it at the base behind a barbed wire fence
under a hazel tree, and left the keys in his locker.

It sat in its space all summer long
as the helicopters landed and took off
and the sap of the hazel  that insubstantial shade
made a sticky film over the windows.

In the autumn the green nuts tattered down
the car was alone on the asphalt
warm inside, like something living
and no one had the heart to move it.

Copyright © 2022 by Sasha Dugdale. This poem was first printed in The Irish Times, May 7, 2022. Used with the permission of the author.