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Essex

Author: 
Andrew Motion

What do I see in it?

Three years trying to forget it

leaves me exactly still

 

in its cradle of smug plough.

When I sleep I fall immediately

back to its slippery rim of marsh.

 

With a low horizon of masts

it hedges me in, one eye continually

opened to show my root coiled in your wound.

 

(Riding across country

the ground reared quietly,

splitting you from crown to jaw.

 

Two hours you bled into it

before they found you, and Essex

turned slowly, wanting more.)

 

England buckles towards those flats,

reduced to one fixed point

of memory. If I went back

 

I’d see nothing changed: hills

gathering above you for the final push;

a place inseparable from pain.

 

From 

Poetry Nation No 4 (1975)

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