The horns of a dilemma


Pan has eaten through the clothesline again

and it’s got my father’s goat

so I’m sent down the river to clear his throat.


He brings up a bunting of astrakhan,

gabardine and worsted I unravel,

shred and knot into a rag rug.


The only snag is the catch-stitch caught on the overhang

it finds the drag of the river and disembowels the goat

as the whole shebang floats downstream.


Keith Payne recently published his first collection, Broken Hill (Lapwing Press)