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This poem is taken from PN Review 257, Volume 47 Number 3, January - February 2021.

Three Poems Sarah Wedderburn
Apple orchard

Trees with gnarled branches, their bark scratchy.
If I stand in the light, am I blocking the light?
A question like a stain, ingrained.


At a time of stone blue and starch, when laundry was labour, Jane left the sheets
in a tin bath and went out to feed the hens. Looking for her unmarried sister, she said,
‘Mary will put them through the mangle. She has nothing else to do.’

(Mary was busy. She was up an old apple tree, with a book.)

The sun shone. Mary was slow coming down the tree. Her white dress moved in and out
of shadow as she came through the orchard.

Jane, who listened to her husband, hissed, ‘Women! What’s to be done with them?’

Muslin once white, now yellow, like mutton fat.
If you render fat, are you giving it back?


The two Misses Clark ran the little school. They had us carry benches, which we called
forms, into the orchard.

There they arranged a tableau of King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid, with a group of senior
...


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