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The ladder becomes a rail track

Work is freedom.  I don’t remember the German
but through the flat keyhole I breathe the false air
as the ladder turns into a rail track.

A hole to the left of the central chimney
and the two edges of the building
sharp like the sheets my grandmother folded
clear and crisp
the smell of rosewater.

To my left a neat foot that once was a dancer’s
shoved carelessly on the floor,
a cigarette pack, a hat, a blue shirt
dropped like the drowned man.

The electric sky, the flattened vowels
Arbeit mach frei,
dust in my mouth

The ladder becomes a rail track

This poem was inspired by The Crucifixion by Tristram Hillier.

Patricia Osborne, born in Wales, now living in Brighton.  I teach English Literature and write poetry.

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