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Matthew Stewart: a poem

The Banana Raffle

Come to think of it, she didn't tell us

who'd got hold of the banana, or how,

or if a neighbourhood spiv was involved,

and we forgot to ask, shocked by the news

that at ten years old she'd never seen one.

She was still proud her class had raffled it

for the war effort, still slightly mournful

at missing out on the chance of a taste,

watching it turn black on her teacher's desk

long before they drew the winning ticket.

She wouldn't talk about gas masks, the Blitz,

the Doodlebugs, how they became V2s,

or how hope had turned gangrenous,

but she always recalled her fury

at the waste of bloody good food.

Matthew Stewart works in the Spanish wine trade and lives between Extremadura and West Sussex. Following two pamphlets with HappenStance Press, he published his first full collection, The Knives of Villalejo, with Eyewear Books in 2017. More recent poems have been published in The Spectator, The New European and Stand.


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