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31 upland road,
a hop and a skip,
from peckham rye park,
where tiny hooped fences
guard the grass to be kept off
and the dogs, let off the leash,
explode into action,
speeding bullets shot from a gun
in an invisible holster
on your aunt’s hip,
rebounding just as fast
as if on elastic.

a parma violetlooroll
all bustle and bluff
and big-bosomed hellos,
clutching you with kindness
in a hard soft embrace.
her house is dogs-barking
excitement, a cheerful chaos
and cacophony, unruly,
disordered but for
loo rolls stashed discreetly
beneath crocheted flamenco dancers.

parma_violets2a welcome world away
from that finger along the mantel
evening check for dust,
when we all held our breath
in unison, existing
in the shadow of a volcano
that might erupt at any second.