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This poem is taken from PN Review 118, Volume 24 Number 2, November - December 1997.

Four Poems Val Warner

'My wall, my washing-line'

England is falling over that wall, pink
like blood and pus mixed... with toil, tears and sweat:
dog rose, June rose, an unofficial link
... musk-roses, or from eglantine, well-met
with some old hedgerow cross. She ghosts my eyes
beyond the pane, pleading... 'We didn't see
her pinning petticoats and knickers high
up on the thorns - a crowning pair was tree'd -
night of the VE anniversary.
Tess, sweet old soul next door, not touched... to see,
screeching "My wall, my washing-line"!' 'Not pissed?'
'Her...' 'Hell to have the past thrown up now.' Blessed
heirs to their journey's end... their light, and missed...
Like broken glass a-top a wall - a prang! -
there's dew on the dog rose, rain or shine,
...


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