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26 March 2023

From Skin & Blister

A new poem by Blake Morrison.

By Blake Morrison

im Gillian Wendy Allen

Just forget for a minute that you’re dead

(it’s not so hard, I do it all the time):

shake off your dust, stitch up your bones, and climb

to the top of Embsay Moor. It’s muffled

as the grave up there – whirrings of grouse,

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fresh dew glazing the heather and bracken,

and that pillar, Rylstone Cross, where we can

sit and chew the fat and reminisce.

Later we’ll link arms and cross the cattle grid –

it used to spook us when we tiptoed on the bars,

fearful we’d slip through or that a monster’s

scaly arm would reach up from the depths to

haul us down. No death, we thought, could be as bad

and when we’ve crossed you can tell me that’s true.

Blake Morrison is a poet and author whose latest publications re the memoir “Two Sisters” (Borough Press) and the poetry pamphlet “Skin & Blister” (Mariscat Press)

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This article appears in the 29 Mar 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Easter Special