Angela Topping: Featured Poet

The Poetry Shed

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Spring Lines
after Larkin

An early morning train to London and Canary Wharf
from Crewe, the first warm day of the year. Regular
as local stations, lines of laundry start to appear.

Backyards and suburban gardens, balconies of flats:
strings of washing hang half the length of England.
Freed-up linens, tugged by spring’s fingers, on parade.

Even the pegs are little miracles, brought forth
from ingenious bags, to clutch underwear,
spread sheets and dangle white lace handkerchiefs.

Small acts of love, pinned up with such hope of drying,
kissing an April Saturday from North to South,
a fanfare of frills, bunting-dressed to welcome spring.


Calling me on the Phone

was an ordeal then:
you, pathologically shy,
no phone anyway,
a long walk to the nearest call box.

Me, shy too,
hating answering the thing
that squatted blackly
in the garishly-papered hall.

Yet we had our first big row
on the…

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