That Easter holiday when I was nine,

I filled the days of lakeland drizzle

with the contents of the hotel’s bookcase.

I remember one page from a Great War

history. Only the uniform

denoted humanity. What could have

been a face was a smear in sepia

mud. Wars and the aftermath of wars

shaped childhood. In brief sun, we visited

Wordsworth’s schoolroom with its harsh, scrawled desks.

I was fussed to a snapshot. And there I am

scowling at the brightness…




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  1. #1 by Mary Clark - May 1st, 2017 at 04:43

    This about sums up a 20th Century childhood. For Americans, the two World Wars were followed apace with Korea and Vietnam. The last two were like that photograph, less clear about what it is to be human. Then there was an explosion of music, dance and art, and even poetry.

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