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Liam Wilkinson Poems
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ON THE MAP by Liam Wilkinson
When I step off that doorstep,
still in need of the paint
with which I intend to lick it,
and on to that short walk
to the gateposts
that used to hold up
two wrought-iron gates
but whose spines
have become too buckled
to hold anything more
than the occasional blackbird,
when I diagonal, across
that familiar space
where so many roads
have laid and so many
been buried, to
the corner which saved me
once or twice
from the water pistols,
onto the next street
where they hardly know me,
past the library
in which I discovered
those first poems
and left the broken eggs
of my own, when I lean
against that road sign
and watch so little happen
to so few people,
in such a small space
on this minute planet,
the silence made
on the end of this needle,
the centuries of years
that let go like molecules
inside the beads of water
that slip unseen
from the duck’s feathers,
then will I rejoice,
then will I squeeze out
a kind of smile
beneath my nose
and sniff –
this is all I need.
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