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This poem is taken from PN Review 220, Volume 41 Number 2, November - December 2014.

Two Poems James McGrath
There’s Nothing to Forgive
 
Your mate’s in love. He forgets he said he’d meet you
from school on his Friday off. You wait by the bins
and stare at spare pebbles on the green-grey pavement,
not the shrinking crowd of coats and paper paintings.

You wait till the playground’s turned the size of the sky
and there’s only Lent, who’s in your class, and her mum,
who helps on school trips. They walk over, holding hands.
You tread on chewing gum. You’ve never played with Lent

but ‘You’re Lent’s friend’, her mum calls. ‘Is your mummy late?’
You say you’re waiting for your mate. He’s got a car.
Lent’s mum bends down. ‘Is your mummy poorly again?’
Your mum’s just at your gran’s. Your mate’s driving you there.

Lent stares like a doll, but you’re not going to cry.
‘We’re having sausage omelettes for tea,’ her mum winks.
‘You come home with Lent and me.’ And Lent smiles at you,
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