The back lane, this new-year dawn, is littered, bleakly – tumbled bins, spent bottles, knuckled tabs, sodden boxes; hound shites, plastic wraps, a quilted headboard, yellowed hand towel; wrapping-paper tumbleweeds troubling parked cars; a bloody gown of herring gull (gutting something); and the last, the very last, or the first, Christmas tree, skulking and skittling on the breeze.
This tree (bell-shaped, truncated; skeletal, ugly) thing, appeared to be quite drunk, so I stepped aside as it careered from car to car, rolling among the debris. It cowered in the shadows, hid beneath windows, trying not to be seen.
But I seen it.
Some tines of tinsel, still spangling, were hanging from it. “Tinsel! In January!” I screamed into the glass of a vehicle, in the hubcap of the same, in the eye of a seagull, pitching from its ribboned cage: “Tinsel! I seen it!”
I nearly chased that dreadful tree. But, mostly I just barked (not barking, per se; cleared my throat, so to speak). I hoy’d a thumb at it though, and took a toe to it, too, and I slung a bottle of spent gin after it, that glanced off a wall, off a bonnet, off a wing and shattered, like magic, right next to it; sounding not unlike an axe strike. The cobbles sparkled.
I wronged it with, “Ho’way, foul tree!”
And that is the last I hope to see of it.