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This poem is taken from PN Review 33, Volume 10 Number 1, September - October 1983.

Coming Back Andrew Waterman

'Home': low streets so intimately mapping
childhood: junction, crescent, alleyways,
bridge, railway-station; fly-blown plate-glass trapping
shop-soiled sunlight; litter, petrol haze,

frail lawns; that bough's configuration steady
above the kerb just as recalled; and there's
the door - but different-coloured now, unready
to admit me. Upstairs sills show dolls and bears.

It continues, hedges trimmed, excited voices
skirling in the park: the kids maybe
of girls that I was young with, Annes, Pams, Joyces,
before I knew this lot was not for me.

Who now, whatever their green years chased after,
shrug half-disclaiming what instead they got,
and shop and cook for, deck with care and laughter;
doing what came naturally - why not?
...


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