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This poem is taken from PN Review 177, Volume 34 Number 1, September - October 2007.

Four Poems Roger Garfitt

Cousin Sylvia
A heart-shaped face
gave her the kind of beauty
that creates its own calm,

though she came from my grandmother's
shadow side, from her little misfortune
in the servants' hall,

and her father, Cousin Jack
to his half-brothers, my father among them,
was all swagger and resentment,

a dampened flame
smouldering out of shadow,
only to flare up once more,

vivid and illicit,
when Sylvia ran away
to Gretna Green.

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