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What the House Taught Us by Anne Bailey

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There is a place in a wood,

in the bottom of a drawer,

at the back of a mind.


A disused quarry in which

men cut stone from a hillside,

ground it into slabs, carted it away


leaving a precipice hidden

in the undergrowth:

a sheer drop of eighty feet,


a chasm filled with water

deep as the pit in your stomach,

cold as a last breath,


still as a sightless eye.

Cousin Brenda’s mother,

Arthur’s second wife, was found


bloated and floating there

in nineteen eighty two.

It’s not the sort of thing


you often think about,

not somewhere you would

ever want to go.’


– ‘Mind’s eye’, in What the House Taught Us



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