Who but Pharaoh would order bricks to be made
without straw? History doesn’t record his next order,
which was the simple “And bring your own mud!”
In the history of bricks, she is quite the rare one,
taking down my English bond and reassembling me,
chequering Cheshire red with Staffordshire cream.
I’m now Flemish bond, a true wall without bows,
but with the occasional projection (a climbing wall
I may be, but they stop so far, no thieving vantage),
she laid me, boxed me, set me around with a broad
come-to-it as if to say you may look, all may look,
but this wall marks someone’s say-so, so no beyond.
Happy me to have such construction, bricks without
straw, or mud, made only of magic by someone with
a history of magic, taking my own bricks of being.
As if anything beyond could be worth the thieving!
That was the thing, you see, that made a braw byre
out of my boxing-up; and everyone saw it but me.
I asked her what it was for. “To keep you so safe,”
she said, and I thought “Liar! If it’s byre, house,
box, or doocot, I prefer freedom to safe promises.”
And so I effected my exit, leaving only bricks
unbroken, though bereft of straw, my own mud,
a no-deal Brickxit, just the outside walls intact.