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The trap
 
Her life goes by like a short train
what did any of us do?

we knew she was angry, we knew she was alone
but we did nothing.
 
A cousin will give her second hand clothes
and second hand holidays
 
her father carries a drawing of Santa Claus
in his pocket book
 
cheeks red as blood, beard white as innocence –
 
he kept it all these years
an uncashed betting-slip.
 
What’s left is almost over –
you got no farther than a wet square
daytime television, a slipped glass in the sink
 
a candy striped hat at a wedding
a boy with a limp
 
you were never meant to get anywhere:
we could have done something –
 
tripped the wire, sprung the hare.
 
 

 

 

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