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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 23: 28 April 2024
Poem: 147 words
By Rose Mary Boehm

Pull up and go

The streets too narrow, the boys 
too ugly, mother too mother. 
Landscapes made from iron and stainless 
steel, gasometers and loading cranes, 
coal trains. There was one row 
of sycamores and a forest where 
acid rain ate the green. 

You kissed Heinz in the fire-red light 
of the glowing slag run-off or, rather, 
he kissed you, and wet and slobbery 
it was, and the mirror showed no change, 
no maturing; your sacrifice had left 
no visible mark. And he told. 

You couldn’t wait to get out, re-invent 
yourself, go where no one knew 
that you grew up in a world of soot 
and glowing steel, that you kissed 
the wrong boy at the wrong time, 
that you once wore woolly knickers 
and had no idea what “virginity” was. 

And how you wish 
you could go home again, 
but they don’t know 
you anymore. 

Rose Mary Boehm
Issue 23 (April 2024)

is a German-born British national living and writing in Lima, Peru, and the author of two novels as well as eight poetry collections. Her poetry has been published widely in mostly US poetry reviews (online and print), and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her most recent collections are available on Amazon: Life Stuff (Kelsay Books, 2024), Do Oceans Have Underwater Borders? (Kelsay Books, July 2022), Whistling in the Dark (Cyberwit, July 2022), and Saudade (Kelsay Books, November 2022).

Author’s website: https://www.rose-mary-boehm-poet.com/

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