Secret Papers

Secret Papers

Something has splayed
the oak trunk in a dozen knotted tongues.

Nobody heard
the sound it made: would its song,

pure air and fire,
have split the ear?

Or might a tree
slip from its bark

quietly
as a girl steps from her clothes

to stand, stripped to the skin,
secret papers burnt?

Everything conspired.
A singling-out occurred.


from The Sinking Road (Bloodaxe Books, 2008), © Paul Batchelor 2008, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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1Secret Papers

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2Tree Climbing

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3Honesty

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4Amaryllis Johnsonii

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5Butterwell

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6Blodeuwedd

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7Artemis

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8To a Halver

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9from The Anatomy Lesson: 1, 3, 6

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10To Photograph a Snow Crystal

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11Triage

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12Lebiyska Mova

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13Keening

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14A Treat

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15Consider the Starlings

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16from Tristia: 1, 4, 6

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17Conurbation

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18Snow Melt

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19from Findings: 1, 2, 5

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20Comeuppance

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21Suibne Recalls his Freedom

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22Suibne Returns to Éorann

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23Suibne in the Trees

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24Moran's Daughter

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25The Butcher's Daughter

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26Wild Angelica

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27The Damned

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