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This poem is taken from PN Review 132, Volume 26 Number 4, March - April 2000.

Six Poems Alison Brackenbury


What will you see when you walk past my garden?
The delicate cowslip which scatters through stones
Soft whirls of leaf which the frosts cannot harden,
Or scyllas, the small stars which Turkey's rocks bred
Seen first through the fogs, a flash of blue light,
Wild honesty, which takes two years to flower
Then drifts from true purple to strange flecks of white.

By the fence crowds the whitethorn, fruiting to sloes.
Though the bullfinches hack at its windy height
Its flowers grow thick then drift into late snow.
The rowan will stink, cream as meadowsweet.
Old roses too heavy for posts they swarm on
Cloud over your head, throw their musk at your feet
In the apricot dusk. But the house has gone.


Christmas. I go back to bed with a fig

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