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A Well


We wished as children to throw

our parents’ money down. Wait

for the plink, the drip-rung chime

hoping it would earn flowers

for what liver-wort fringed returns, nothing

but the monster clinging

itself back to light on spindling

arms and a moon curving to

our purpose, as sand rained down upon

the leant body, railing us.


The well-tended grounds speak of something

perhaps wrong, of the money at bottom,

the drained parents, a ring of light—place

where rain goes to die.


Giles Goodland's books include: A Spy in the House of Years (Leviathan, 2001), Capital (Salt, 2006), Dumb Messengers (Salt, 2012) and The Masses (Shearsman, 2018). Civil Twilight was published by Parlor Press in 2022. He has worked as a lexicographer, editor, and bookseller, and teaches evening classes on poetry for Oxford University's department of continuing education. He lives in West London.

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