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page 24

John McDonald, Scotland

Gartnavel Treadmill

Slowly she goes –
as though each step might
spin the Earth to brightness
wandering her own uncanny by-ways –
where we are the shadows and sounds that terrify.

Is it him she searches for – her golden-haired lad;
him who lay with her, and danced with her, and lit up her days;

the golden-haired lad: John Barleycorn
who breathed on her wits?

in the silence
the closing door
the turning key

notes: Gartnavel – A mental hospital in Glasgow; John Barleycorn – a reference to whisky.


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