The Green Boy

At the moment of dawn
some long-ago May morning
a green boy emerges
glistening from this dock

stands dripping on the side
of this old stone basin,
and as the light breaks
gazes with newly opened eyes

at smoke lying curled
above one or two houses
in the city’s huddled circle,
where the thin child servants

of lawyer and apothecary
of mountebank and thief
are up betimes
and about their masters’ business

from ‘A Natural History’ in Scenes from a Long Sleep (Bloodaxe, 2003), © Peter Didsbury 2003, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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