Poem of the Week: Bottles by John Kelly

A small boy enters the enclosure –
an iron, floodlit maze of bottle-banks.
It’s late, and he should not be here.
His hunched-up father watches from the car.

The boy works quickly, relentlessly,
shoving bottle after bottle after bottle
into a dark and open O – each one
exploding brutally like a brawl

in a stinking hull, or in the belly
of a bomb-proof bunker in the sand.
The glass is always green or brown or clear;
the bottles mostly vodka, brandy, wine.

When the job is done, he backs away.
He keeps the bags for again.
His father, straightening, starts the car.
The boy has fed the Minotaur.

Bottles is from John Kelly’s second collection, Space (Dedalus Press)