Academic journal article The Hudson Review

To a Lost Friend

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

To a Lost Friend

Article excerpt

Hounslow Heath

You look at me with vague recognition as someone might stand

before a Rothko at the Tate. The turbines have long been removed

but the outside's quite unchanged since I first saw your watercolour

wolds and lowland pastels, with figures from the French court

on swings, or playing a ball game, and children running happily

hither and yon, as you look on, with a shrug or a wink:

you knew the dewpond where they dumped all the Chippendale,

you knew where the moat was, the priest-hole. But names . . .

Now the fingerposts and milestones have been removed, as if

preparing for some war, they will not come. Why should you

recall this warm face through your mist? Even the hospitals

at Hillingdon, at West Middlesex, cover up what happened,

their car parks blacking out everything except

precise arrival times; and we will be charged. …

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