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This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 1 Number 1, 1973.

In the Parish Church of St. Michael, Stanton Harcourt James Atlas

Our VW slides through mudded troughs
as we pull up to the church,
then race through a downpour
to the rough-hewn wooden door.
Four o'clock in late November,
darker than a midnight summer storm.

The soaked and rotted woods, like armies,
crowd the wide meadow where owls dream
through their long winter. Branches lean
in the wind, leaves cling, tattered as Harcourt's Standard
on the wall, carried to the Battle of Bosworth Field
in 1485. A van lurches down the lane.
Beside the church door is a whip
once used 'for driving away the packs
of roaming dogs and wolves'. Rain

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