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During the CountdownTom Paulin
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Vol. 25 No. 4 · 20 February 2003
Poem

During the Countdown

Tom Paulin

122 words

On the second day of the second month
2003
we were walking through Beeston
– it looked that Sunday
more like a wet Northern
than a wet Midland town
with big strange pollarded trees
on both sides of its not wide not grand
Imperial Road
– every single limbless hacked cutback trunk
was taller than the Victorian houses
and each a kind of écorché
displaced almost tarry with a blind scorched
halfconscious look
– these overgrown but somehow ambushed trees
they’d got too grand for a mere road
– maybe when their trunks were just saplings
it looked like an avenue in the making?
now these rooted
not quite cadavers were nearly speaking back
like a tamarack a hackmatack
– that is the American the charred larch

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