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Cooking Apples
Three cooking apples in a duffel bag
large and shapeless as craniums
bitter on the tongue
green as young trees
green as my growing love
useless as gym slippers
as fractions –
for throwing at boys on the cross-country course
by the shelters
the rolled wire of the shouting barracks
the red brick water tower
the mud path that leads
over the pontoon bridge to the estate.
Have you a shilling today
for gas
for fire?
No miss, milk for my father’s tea
a treble at Haydock
a loaf of bread.
What are fractions?
the world broken up
a share of the spoils
it all adds up, if you listen
the holes in your jumper
the length of your skirt
the cut of the border
mouths open in the stairwell
the space beyond the self
segments of mushy fruit in sugar
dumped in the yards –
the unobtainable moons.