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This poem is taken from PN Review 249, Volume 46 Number 1, September - October 2019.

Six Poems Susan Mackervoy
Spitalbrook

Muted. The television in the corner
spiels image after image in a level
vernacular, flashy and delicate
compounded so the flow seems to travel, like

a watery tongue, lowest, descending
where mud and exposed roots encase    
orpiment and azurite, base unfurling scroll
of illuminations, dark then bright

in steps and stages: sparse habitations,
lamplight pooled on wallpaper leaf patterns,
blue and gold. Here, once, a hostel
took in pilgrims, lazars, anyone.

Now the quiet stream neither assents nor refuses,
is, in its neutralness, charitable.


Spitalbrook / A10
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