Letter to an Imaginary Enemy, by Kevin Higgins


after Thomas McGrath

A might-have-been traffic warden or
social welfare inspector fired for
over-zealously applying
what he wishes were the rules.
Blessed to him the police dog
with its well-trained teeth.
Blessed the law coming down big
on sympathy strikes like a nice black
truncheon. While the world bellyaches
like some teenager; he orders gin and tonic
and bitches about his ex-wife;
then has her around for dinner
and future ammunition.

A man so serious, they’re thinking
of building a Cathedral,
or philosophy department,
in his very head. In all likelihood
both. He stalks about the place,
like the proprietor of an unsuccessful
bed and breakfast, who’s forever
trying to get the egg
back out of the pan,
and return it to its shell,
which he plans to spend
the weekend retrieving
from what his soon-to-be
second ex-wife calls
the dustbin of terrible ideas.

KEVIN HIGGINS is The Bogmans Cannon Satirist-in-Residence