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This poem is taken from PN Review 114, Volume 23 Number 4, March - April 1997.

Two Poems Janet Montefiore


Wheat Growing on a Sidewalk, c. 1956

De Freville Avenue was wide in those days, when no cars
lined its sides, and the milk came round in a horse-drawn float.
At intervals on the pavement were rectangles of hard earth
where plane-trees grew, and in summer wild grass, plantains and dandelions
around their roots, and sticky rough goose-grass.

                  And one year, among the straggling plants,
three ears of young wheat, blue-green and astonishing, rich and heavy with seed,
solid and intricate as plaited sculpture.

                            How they came there, we never knew,
unless the wheat had fallen when the milk-cart paused by a tree
and the horse stood still and chewed in its nose-bag, while the milkman took his money, and tossed its head or sneezed,
and the grains fell from its lips
to sprout amongst stones and weeds.

                                    But it never reappeared,
...


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