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This poem is taken from PN Review 159, Volume 31 Number 1, September - October 2004.

The Garden at Clears Neil Powell

      `It is closing time in the gardens of the West.'
                                                                               Cyril Connolly


A shingled single track; a broken gate,
Unhinged and folded back against the hedge;
A late spring day in 1958 ...
Time hovers like a syrphid at the edge

Of some gigantic leaf: slow minutes pass
As gravel shifts and settles in the lane.
A spider weaves its way among the grass.
The sun is veiled by clouds and clears again.

At length two boys on bicycles arrive
(One is my friend John, the other's me),
Who shade their eyes and squint along the drive:
Two children seeing what there is to see.

But what is there to see? A gate, a track,
Between two grassy fields, a flowering cherry

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