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14 June 2023

The NS Poem: maples

A new poem by Claudine Toutoungi.

By Claudine Toutoungi

we have them on all sides surrounded
we make eyes at yellows and reds
we crumble bits and inhale maple dust

one woman walks by with a dog in a pram
the dog husks Montand’s nostalgic
classic Les Feuilles Mortes

and three old men nod
they have been ceremoniously buried
up to their chins in spiky little leaves

but make no fuss
puffing on pipes they cannot remove
bald heads blessed with twigs and detritus

Claudine Toutoungi is the author of two collections of poetry, “Smoothie” and “Two Tongues” (Carcanet)

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This article appears in the 14 Jun 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Over and Out