The Gums of Vientiane

standing at attention
a column of white gums
awaits its commander’s
final orders – over the top!
down the embankment!
secure all garden plots
& fish traps! then down
the mekhong we go –
all in a row sir yes sir
drowning at attention sir
ye loyal diggers /saplings
planted when? & for
what strange reason?
in dust-blown vientiane
in the service of her majesty
ye brave snow-white gums
form a levee – but for how
long can you hold back this
determined tide of change?

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