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This poem is taken from PN Review 253, Volume 46 Number 5, May - June 2020.

Anthracite Martin Elliott
1.
For now, I only dream of Anthracite
gemlike but hot & low of smoke,
brought to the house on Barcock’s lorry
– a whole half ton checked in by tallyman me.
9 years old, I’m looking to kick some slack.
No such luck. Only slurry.
Coloured by their trade were Barcock’s heavers
with boot-black faces – & helmed and caped
like Foreign Legionnaires –
but hardly debonair, hoisting hessian
sackloads heavier than I. We likewise
had our annual chimney sweep
another dark-grained serf of soot
whose thoroughgoing
sockety-handled
bristle brush
...


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