Alison Brackenbury – 1642


Retired, I could research
our English Civil War.
Would digging pile dry earth
on all I knew before?
One street still holds a fair,
where it fought off a King.
Rocked in Cirencester

by siege-guns, weeks of noise,
quiet Lady X went mad,
unearthed her childhood toys,
lined dolls up till she died.
Faeries were frightened out.
In summer grass, men fell,
who asked for honest votes.

Welcome, the smiling King!
Less welcome, the spy state,
spaniels and secret police,
the whispers at the gate.
Research the Civil War?
Let heavy books be dropped
back in the archive, for
this war has never stopped.



Alison Brackenbury’s latest collection is Then, Carcanet 2013.  Her next collection is due from Carcanet very early in 2016.  New poems can be read at her website:

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