A poem by Paul Muldoon

I, too, have trailed my father's spirit
From the mud-walled cabin behind the mountain
Where he was born and bred,
TB and scarletina,

The farm where he was first hired out,
To Wigan, to Crewe junction,
A building-site from which he disappeared
And took passage, almost, for Argentina.

The mountain is coming down with hazel,
The building-site a slum,
While he has gone no further than Brazil.

That's him on the verandah, drinking rum
With a man who might be a Nazi,
His children asleep under their mosquito-nets.

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