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A GRIEF

by
 Rivers, tow paths, caravan parks

From Kirkstall to Keighley

The track’s ribbon flaps

Like Margaret’s whirling and twirling

At ten with her pink-tied hair

And blue-check patterned frock

O my lost beloved



Mills fall like doomed fortresses

Their domes topple, stopped clocks

Chime midnight forever and ever

Amen to the lost hegemony of mill girls

Flocking through dawn fog, their clogs clacking,

Their beauty, only Vermeer could capture

O my lost beloved

In a field one foal tries to mount another,

The mare nibbling April grass;

The train dawdles on this country track

As an old man settles to his paperback.
The chatter of market stalls soothes me More than the armoury of medication I keep with me.
Woodyards, scrapyards, The stone glories of Yorkshire spring- How many more winters must I endure O my lost beloved?

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