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This poem is taken from PN Review 44, Volume 11 Number 6, July - August 1985.

Poems Ken Smith

AFTER MR MAYHEW'S VISIT

So now the Victorians are all in heaven,
Miss Routledge and the young conservatives
chatting with the vicar, visiting again
the home for incurables who never die.

The old damp soaks through the wallpaper,
there's servant trouble, the cook
fighting drunk at the sherry, and Edith
coughing and consumptive, fainting away.

Only this time it never ends: the master
continually remarking how the weather bites cold,
the brandy flask stands empty, and the poor
are pushing to the windows like the fog.



BEYOND HOPE AND THE LEE RIVER

'She's five foot four and falling.
Either you come get her right now
...


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