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From ‘The Price of Everything’Andrew Motion
Vol. 14 No. 12 · 25 June 1992

From ‘The Price of Everything’

Andrew Motion

107 words

My father and mother
were Adam and Eve
back to the garden
hand in hand,
forgiven and blameless,
their lives their own.

But this was no garden:
this attic flat
was an eye on the Thames
blinded with rain,
their landlord’s dog
a wolf at the door.

They didn’t care;
for all they knew
love was the roof
above their heads,
love paid bills
and kept them fed.

By night they took
their deckled ledger
and counted the cost
of the life to come:
a child’s clothes; a cot.

By day they wiped
their windows and saw
heavyweight, slow
dredgers explore
rich shipping-lanes below.

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