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Julia Darling, from Sudden Collapses in Public Places

The Grove

Here is a dusted street in a city,
a fold in the valley, a crease of red brick
threading the bank, a necklace of houses,
strung along by a river, desirable, leafy.

Two girls whisper. Towels flap on lines,
an argument fragments across the vale.
I peer though the glass, down the wild gardens
and dogs look back sadly. Cats stare into ponds.

A child cries and drops a tin bucket.
A man calls his pigeons back to the huts.
Smoke curls from a bonfire, far away there's a siren.
Flowers shudder then close. Someone calls TEA.

When I go, you'll be alone by the window
in this tilting house hanging over the vale,
with the hawthorn, the pond, the rebellious garden,
the light in the evening that fills every room.