In that country
poet spoke for people
against the invader.
when sirens were silent
poems were broadcast.
When newspapers lied
people queued for poems
and read them on trams.
Oh for such a contract
to write only the truth,
even to die for it -
how much better than
to be civil servant
to Propriety, our master.
© C K Stead
The knees I'm embracing through her skirt
are Grandma Robinson's; above them
is a dark blue jumper, a bit scratchy.
I can just reach it. I must be three.
She's trying to sweep the kitchen floor,
and I'm tripping her up. She's not cross yet.
There's some linseed boiling on the stove -
tiny brown jellies, with seeds in them.
I can't be expected to know what for.
The milk she squeezes out of the cow
turns into butter when she churns it.
Life's mysterious, but I'm used to that.
© Fleur Adcock