Estrangement

My hay fever was uncontrollable,
I could concentrate on nothing else but my body,
Its flesh and insides, bones and muscles,
Wiping the memory of what we were discussing.

I remember only the basics
Of the landscape we wandered;
A green corn field, a barbed wire fence,
A line of trees in the distance, a desire path.
Follow it out of this green blur.
Embarrassed at the affect pollen has upon me
I began to feel like a city boy more than ever,
Too clean, not used to the pungent country air:
Completely out of place.

Feeling dreadful in the countryside,
Sneezing away, folding the one tissue I had
This way and that, Left me longing
To be back in the warm beating heart
Of natal Manchester, with its grey concrete
Its red brick, the grime, decay, noise,
Life, fear, love, and the Smiths.

To my left I noticed the others.
They looked increasingly at home.
Their tensions were visibly seeping away,
The corporeal techniques they used were now working,
Some sort of mystical connection was being awakened.
They were attempting metamorphosis!
Reaching for a world beyond this life,
The Fellowship transmogrified before me.

Bizarrely at this point I just wondered
Why no one else grazed these paths with us.
Even the cows, sheep, and wild horses had gone.
No doubt to make way for the very modest influx,
Of cagouled ramblers we witnessed.

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