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This poem is taken from PN Review 100, Volume 21 Number 2, November - December 1994.

Five Poems Vona Groarke

Arriving from Bath, they were a strange ménage -
a family thrown together by four marriages,
and having nowhere else to go. Four daughters
older than their new mother, and single still:
their chances harried by a father's debts.

He tinkered with prospects and arrangements of trees,
laid out a town to bear his family name,
devised a railway to cut across the bog,
and so, made an impression, and settled down
to oversee a world of prudence, tact, reserve

and writing books. One daughter worked
at a table made of wood from the estate.
While her sisters stitched bright patterns in
a lace-work plot of pleasantries and chat,

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