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This poem is taken from PN Review 244, Volume 45 Number 2, November - December 2018.

Two Poems Peter Adair
The Acorn Road

That chilly morning a soldier dug a grave,
lowered down his mate and laid a wreath at the wall
of the garden. I stopped, too far off to see

if he wept, then pushed the wheelbarrow full
of acorns – thousands of acorns – to sow
in neat raised beds in a polytunnel.

Beyond the trees arose a general’s chateau
behind their lines. I passed my great-uncle by chance
beside the willow cuttings in serried row

on row like gravestones in a field in France
forever Ulster. And creeping from tents
in Clandeboye, bricklayers, sons of the manse,

clerks, still in civvies, fired German rifles
at the birdie while gunshots resounded
in the woods – guests slaughtering partridges.
...


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