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This poem is taken from PN Review 34, Volume 10 Number 2, November - December 1983.

Nellie in the Bread Room E.A. Markham

The lizard scuttling through grass
mocks us both, like a mechanized arm,
or animated toy set to scud
over private memory. This is your room,

the Bread Room, back when the house
was alive. The sky is blue, everyone younger
by a quarter of a century, and you are caught
in a pose we remember: You hold

the flat-iron an inch from your face
to test its heat; and satisfied, make the swop
in the coalpot. The thud thud
of sheets being ironed nail down the stillness

of afternoon into something more permanent
than childhood. Not yet the rumoured thrill
of changing seasons, the promised gift
of snow. Heat: the heat censures

any mood more urgent than restlessness.
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