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This poem is taken from PN Review 146, Volume 28 Number 6, July - August 2002.

The Hatherley Lane School 1878-2001 Alison Brackenbury

Prologue

Bell's glint, brick, oak, me. School.
Where did those jackdaws come from
with their black and tumbling wings?

The children? Most sang loud.
Irene, who never could
do sums, was let to run for bread and cheese,

the master's lunch,
up lanes, the tree-hung bridge.
Then children marched away,

lost in a new road's roar,
found lower rooms. I soon lost count
of Irene, whistling by, her head ruffed grey.

I stood a store
my green bell silent. Was it then
the jackdaws tickled through my gable stones?

Papers rustle. I hear 'Sold'.
...


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