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This poem is taken from PN Review 194, Volume 36 Number 6, July - August 2010.

Four Poems Rory Waterman

Back in the Village

Where did that child go, straying down the lanes
in thinning snow, seeing footsteps turn
to slush then rain, one cold, eventless day;

or clambering through the ruined manor house,
all done up now, worn-in and trellis-guarded?
He knows their cellars and lofts better than they
do still, I’m sure. Where is that child today?

He’s outside what was Paul’s house, with his wife,
in silent night beneath crisp constellations –
star-swarms and nests of secret nebulae –
the car on shingle by the village pub.
He’s walking round The Green, where once he played

throwball – that’s a game his mates invented,
dependent on a tree that’s been removed.
New children wouldn’t know that one had stood there

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