Cross the Welsh Bridge out of town, go up the hill
on Frankwell Street and you’ll see, above the Severn,
brick pillars with the sandy bloom of an ageing dog.
Around the back, Father’s surgery and waiting-room.

Outside, the Stable Yard: hay chutes, a piggery and toolshed.
Lower down, a bothy on the river bank
where plates of jagged ice, harvested in winter from the river,
lean one against the other. A dairy, where these blocks are dragged

to cool the milk and cream. The Quarry Pool
where he fishes for newts and tadpoles.
Collecting: to assert control
over what’s unbearable. To gather and to list.

‘Stones, coins, franks, insects, minerals and shells.’
Collect yourself: to smother what you feel,
recall to order, summon in one place;
making, like Orpheus, a system against loss.

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