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This poem is taken from PN Review 55, Volume 13 Number 5, May - June 1987.

Poems Grevel Lindop

THE LEGACY: EMMER GREEN, 1956

Let the boy try. The chisel's edge is slid
into the crack. A few businesslike knocks
should do it. Gently now. The blistered lid
resists, resists. He levers at the box,

I hold it steady. (All day long they've worked
to sort Miss Mary's things. A magpie-nest
of clothes, toys, jewellery, papers, bills, that lurked
in bags, chests, cupboards, clocks; and with the rest,

I'm told, the poet's letters, stuffed in absurd
odd corners. They asked us to have a go
at these old trunks and crates. Why she left word
the Scouts should open this, I'll never know.)

A splintering crack. It gives. A musty cover
of cloth, and under it the dull green
nubbed bulk of a fully-loaded revolver.
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