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  1. Culture
  2. Poetry
16 August 2023

The NS Poem: Lifelong

A new poem by Will Eaves.

By Will Eaves

for Patricia Ware

First disappointments

disappear with words – people

or changes that found you out:

the kind one ready with the jar of    
      iodine

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or the menace of a grey mid-morning

quartered by windows.

Were there instructions

on how to fill the graph paper?

Where do you draw the line?

At the back of the reflected classroom

water bounces out of a pipe.

The caretaker’s daughter becomes

a nurse, and the nurse grows

golden marrows on her allotment.

Timetables arrive in different inks.

The key can be looked at later

when you’ve had a wash.

No sense of urgency prevails

for all the suffering – great loves

push a mop along the corridor

without windows, without a second

thought given to appearances.

Will Eaves is a poet and novelist. His most recent book is “Broken Consort” (CB Editions)

Read next: The NS Poem: A Standstill

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This article appears in the 16 Aug 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Russia’s War on the Future

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
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