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POEMS

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Rosetta

Rosetta had the music
Way back when in eighteen eighty two
They gave her the prize
One book of lies
Telling her how Columbus discovered America.

Rosetta I suppose
You had to be my great Aunt
All lace and tight tight hair
But somehow that isn’t how I see you there
Hanging out
At number nine Friar Street
Sudbury
Suffolk
Close to where Dickens
Was digging crooked elections and real ale
Not ten minutes walk away.

Rosetta I must ask my father about you
He’ll probably wreck the illusion
But I’ve got to know
If you really did do your magic stuff
On one of those tall Victorian pianos
With curtains on the front panels
And
I’d like to know if ever
You questioned the reason why
You were not going to be able to vote
Even when you reached that crucial twenty one years
Even though your Daddy fought elections
Using eyes and wits instead of ears
And did you ever think about sides when the poor rioted
In your provincial streets
Or does that stuff only come with syncopation.

Rosetta I want to know what happened to the music.
I want to know if it got swallowed up
With flowers and hand made chocolates
And wifely duties.
Rosetta I want to know why you told your father
About your own brother’s preoccupation
With race horses and how he went betting at Newmarket.

Rosetta I want to know
What my grandfather ever did to you.