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27 January 2021

The NS Poem: Childhood

A poem by Iain Britton. 

By Iain Britton

why this 
crumpled overcoat in summer 

this podium reserved for talking 

i listen to the river, to seagulls
to this dishevelled person 
with monuments for bones, who gambles away the hills & lakes
risks losing what he breathes

he rolls in his own contours, plays his hand, hopes it
will define the person he really is      
his childhood slides through a clarinet’s thirst for hitting high notes 

i listen to the river & watch 
for rain

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a commuter train scorches past 

on the platform a small boy bites into his granny’s apple. 

Iain Britton is an Aotearoa New Zealand poet. His latest collection is “The Intaglio Poems” (Hesterglock Press).

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This article appears in the 27 Jan 2021 issue of the New Statesman, The Lost