Mercian Hymns VII
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Gasholders, russet among fields.
Milldams, marlpools that lay
Coagulations of frogs: once, with branches and
half-bricks, he battered a ditchful; then sidled away from the stillness
Ceolred was his friend and remained so, even after the day of the lost
fighter: a biplane, already obsolete and irreplaceable, two inches of
heavy snub silver.
Ceolred let it spin through a hole in the
classroom-floorboards, softly, into the rat-droppings and coins.
After school he lured Ceolred, who was sniggering with fright, down to
the old quarries, and flayed him.
Then, leaving Ceolred, he journeyed
for hours, calm and alone, in his private derelict sandlorry named
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