This poem is taken from Stand 226, 18(2) June - August 2020.

John Haynes Five Poems
from But Worse Than All


Mr Heale spin-skims your far-off envelope across
the corn flakes bowls.  I haven’t taken in yet have I
how a gatepost
with its screw-heads rusted deep into its 69,  
or how the balsa planes in line
on cotton threads along one bedroom window, weightlessly ...
Or haven’t thought, I mean,
we’ll never get back there, will we?

As if Dad’s lettuces, a goldfinch nest
still in the spikes of hawthorn hedge along
the road to Cosford just
before the railway bridge, as if the pond
and then the green slime weir that hums
the little wooden gates, where Donny
saw the pike between his wellingtons that time,
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