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This poem is taken from PN Review 245, Volume 45 Number 3, January - February 2019.

Bingham’s Ghost
'Bingham’s Ghost' and other poems
Les Murray
Frederick Arnall

Son of a fugitive
alderman from Cornwall
my grandfather Fred
took up the shovel
in his early teens
to extract khaki alunite

from an upside-down mine
tunnelled inside a mountain
and send it cascading
down into commerce
as alum, the medicine that
fixed colours in cloth.

Marrying, he moved south
to dig refractive coal,
tarry fossil rock that still

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