The NS Poem: Childhood

A poem by Iain Britton. 

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why this 
crumpled overcoat in summer 

this podium reserved for talking 

i listen to the river, to seagulls
to this dishevelled person 
with monuments for bones, who gambles away the hills & lakes
risks losing what he breathes

he rolls in his own contours, plays his hand, hopes it
will define the person he really is      
his childhood slides through a clarinet’s thirst for hitting high notes 

i listen to the river & watch 
for rain

a commuter train scorches past 

on the platform a small boy bites into his granny’s apple.

Iain Britton is an Aotearoa New Zealand poet. His latest collection is "The Intaglio Poems" (Hesterglock Press).

This article appears in the 27 January 2021 issue of the New Statesman, The Lost

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