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Tag Archives absence


‘My wall is loosening; honey-bees,
Come build in the empty house of the stare.’

Meditations In Time Of Civil War, W.B. Yeats


Each year, there would be two nests –

in the eaves at opposite corners

of our square house. We would hear them,

scratching in the gutters – and Danny,

the window cleaner, an ‘affable irregular’

of the black economy, at the door for his money,

would report on their progress

through the spring and the summer –



That rite of passage of the middle class –

chauffeuring offspring to the varsity –

took us the breadth of England, from Hoole to Hull.

Extending her childhood, our parenthood

or both, we travelled the edge of hope

and longing, by acres of burning stubble

and slagheaps greening. In the rearview mirror,

she leant forward to gossip about

the future…When she was eight, we’d planted

her cherry tree, knowing she would one day

climb up it and out of sight.