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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    

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or the menace of a grey mid-morning

quartered by windows.

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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