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Photo by Andreanna Moya.


When my father saw an advert in the Echo
for a big house at a peppercorn rent
he rang and heard a voice with a slight croak
enquire – Can you read a map? – Yes. – OK
meet me tomorrow noon . . . (the voice gave co-ordinates).
So he drove through the green deep past Wenlock
and stopped in a lane beside a field gate
where soon another car appeared
and unburdened itself of an elderly gent.
– The name’s Forester. (Eliding the Lord.)
He walked my father to the gate and asked
what he could see: at first, nothing but trees
in the distance. – D’you mean that . . . magnificent oak?
– The house is yours. I’ll have them send the keys.

by Jamie McKendrick.

You can also read Jamie McKendrick’s poem ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’ in Granta 119: Britain. You can pre-order a copy or subscribe and receive four issues a year of the best new writing.

You can also see Jamie McKendrick in conversation as part of the launch of Britain on 10 May at Waterstones Piccadilly, London.

Comments (28)

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  2. Sinibaldi

    Mon Apr 30 13:41:54 BST 2012

    In that confidence.

    A red rose
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  3. Shery

    Thu Aug 29 12:14:20 BST 2013

    Your poem make me remember this poem which i like
    A mighty wind blew night and day.
    It stole the Oak Tree's leaves away.
    Then snapped its boughs
    and pulled its bark
    until the Oak was tired and stark.

    But still the Oak Tree held its ground
    while other trees fell all around.
    The weary wind gave up and spoke,
    "How can you still be standing Oak?"

    The Oak Tree said, I know that you
    can break each branch of mine in two,
    carry every leaf away,
    shake my limbs and make me sway.

    But I have roots stretched in the earth,
    growing stronger since my birth.
    You'll never touch them, for you see
    they are the deepest part of me.

    Until today, I wasn't sure
    of just how much I could endure.
    But now I've found with thanks to you,
    I'm stronger than I ever knew

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