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1 June 2022

The NS Poem: The estate agents take a tour

A new poem by Rebecca Farmer.

By Rebecca Farmer

Ladies follow me I would
love for you to see
the spectacular gardens.
Like long-legged spiders
we weave past bowls of red
amaryllis and scented candles.
Our fixed smiles and matte
lipstick give nothing away.
We glide through studded doors
into the still scented air.
Here she asks us to admire
the permanent planting strategy
bound by hedges of evergreen
from which nothing can escape.
Our guide demands we appreciate
how it echoes Bridget Riley
with its movement in squares.
Ah Bridget Riley! we repeat.
Our dark suits coordinate
with the water feature’s slate
we pay attention to fragile
etched lines – a homage to
London’s lost rivers – London lost.
On past a Phantom Rolls which
may be a sign that someone
drove here, might live here
though we see no one apart
from men in uniform who sweep
the imaginary leaves which fall
from the imaginary trees.

Rebecca Farmer’s pamphlet “Not Really” is published by Smith/Doorstop

Read more poetry published in the New Statesman here

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This article appears in the 01 Jun 2022 issue of the New Statesman, Platinum Jubilee Special