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This poem is taken from PN Review 218, Volume 40 Number 6, July - August 2014.

‘A Dark Day in Smithfields’ and Other Poems Katy Evans-Bush
Field of Fire, 1555

In this city
three digits the same means fire.

John Leaf (aged twenty years), apprentice
to Mr Humphrey Gaudy, tallow-chandler,
suffered and was himself turned to tallow
at Smithfield on 12th July with Rev. John Bradford.

Brought to this place and led down these grey flags
while the air shimmered its summer welcome.
Into the public place, to a weeping
multitude gathered overnight to stand with them.

And John Leaf and the good Rev. Bradford suffered
out here by this traffic bollard –
as it was said, which was a great comfort, like two lambs,
without any alteration of their countenance.

Said the Reverend Bradford, Be of good comfort, brother,
for we shall have a merry supper with the Lord this night.

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