Alan Jenkins

Ledbury Road

Two poems in memory of Mick Imlah 1. ‘Hardy and Housman lived round here,’ I said, slumped in an armchair in your flat. ‘Compared to those two, we’re small beer — Hardy and Housman, geniuses crowned here! No blue plaques for us, who’ve gone to ground here… We’re pygmies, compared to giants like that, Hardy


These two, DOROTHY AND CLARICE DENCH — A pair of local spinster sisters, as I guess — Both died, two years apart, aged ninety-five. Yet ‘We are only here a little while’ Is carved, with names and dates, into this bench: A saying of theirs, perhaps, that raised a smile When each new birthday found