The North Room

I have seen unhappiness, who stood
In a high Oxford room, beside my bed.
The room was narrow. I think she was a maid.
She certainly was dead.

It was that time of darkness, when you wake
Tunnelled from morning, half-choked by despair.
There was no lace, or whispered words to take:
A thickening of the air

Which brushed against the lips, caught in the throat,
Cleared, with the buzzing of a midnight fly.
Next term I had the front room. It shone west.
I swung the bed to sky.

Alison Brackenbury

If you've any comments on this poem, Alison Brackenbury would be pleased to hear from you.

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