Our Lady of the Pylons

by Ian McEwen

When she is re-designed, will we

still know she stands for us – that repeated
shape potato-printed, lino-cut, repeated

through the hills?
She gives herself away and away,

the aching weight of power hung
from each shoulder: her prayers hung

to each light switch. Grey paint
elides her figure to a burr

of cloud. She is waiting for the birds
to trust her. Lip-level with the birds,

their pointed banter all
the company she gets. Her shadow

laid on corn, on tar, on earth,
is levering the sun around the earth,

to explain the hollow landscape,
and her faint construction-lines

are the gateways to a sky. Hum for us
Our Lady of the Pylons, hum for us
or hum