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This poem is taken from PN Review 199, Volume 37 Number 5, May - June 2011.

Six Poems Lucy Tunstall
Home County

Sparrows caught and hung in the thatch. The South Downs hung over us.
In the neighbouring field, the heifers wept for their calves.

A bluebell-wood harboured logs in the guise of crocodiles, foul mud, which sucked in children's boots; and once free of
the wood, where to go, but the arid chalk heath winding wearily, unrelentingly on and up?
Pity the Romans, their blue knees, their fluttering tunics, the flat, grey light.

A child's cradle in torn white brocade decorated the corner of the music room.
At Easter, the land was blessed. The vicar's name was Canon Dagger.
The young crops lay down and shivered in the east wind.

Zenith Automatic

In a small flat by the Thames, my father hoarded silver and china, pictures of his grandmother as a young woman with my profile, Staffordshire shepherds and milkmaids, political cartoons of the eighteenth century, theatrical silhouettes, monogrammed napkin rings, glass-fronted bookcases, the family Bible, a coat of arms, a stone unicorn, a writing-desk, a good paperknife, a Chinese vase.

In the last few days, these things took flight. Nothing could be pinned down. That chap from the army watched from the curtains. It became important to fasten his father's watch directly on to my wrist from his own which, according to the evidence of the perpetual mechanism, had already passed to an empty plain.


Water everywhere.
Rivers brim and flood.
The fields are rivers.

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