Poetry from Margaret Royall


From a secret drawer Aunt Phoebe 

takes the unctuous lavender oil and

gaggles of barefoot children run amok through 

wildflower meadows, dry tongues of summer

yearning for sarsaparilla and calamine balm

to soothe the itch of post-war deprivation.

She hears the electric hum of bees in lupin throats, 

watches fingers pluck flowers from Nissen hut walls,

breathes in carbolic soap from the hard-scrubbed nails


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