When the fields were fenced off, the Houyhnhnms
heard bands playing, patriot shouts; the land, it was said,
would return to its rightful owners.
Flags flew from accustomed poles and were waved
by those who erected fences; the iron wheels
of steam engines pounded the streets in triumph.
But investment went elsewhere. Centres of learning
saw their horizons shrink; there was talk everywhere
of rupture, of secession. New managers were appointed
to govern the farms, on which weeds flourished
– nightshade and prejudice, ragwort. The price of grass
as it festered in airless barns went through the roof.
The hospitals promised would not now materialise.
Gulliver’s wound would not heal. He’d remain
with the Houyhnhnms, work to dismantle fences.
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This post was written by John Gohorry