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Shortlisted for the inaugural MMU Poetry Prize;

published in The SHOp;

in collection, Miming Happiness, 2010,

Smith/Doorstop, ISBN 978-1-906613-14-3


The Train Driver's View


Mostly, he gets the backsides of houses

flashed at him like drawerless drunken women.  

No front room frill or bit of net, but a dressing

down of open yards and washing lines:


the off-white news that filters over fences.

And in winter, as he slows for points,

or InterCitys, under the scrutiny of 60 watts,

he spots a woman at the sink, up to her elbows


in a row she’s had the night, the year before.

He thinks you can track the changes here,

in the trip along a passage from front door

geraniums to lean-to late-night fags.


All of life hanging in an outside lavatory,

hooked like squares of hand-cut newsprint,

filled with things you’ve never had, and fluttering

in the draught of people going places fast.


Allison McVety


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Photo by Derek Adams

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collections -
"Miming Happiness"
"The Night Trotsky Came to Stay",

anthologies -
"Forward Book of Poetry 2009"
"Forward Book of Poetry, 2008",
Forward in assoc with Faber & Faber


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