What I Remember

is not the race itself but the evening

which disappeared in a tangle of diving

sunlight and nerves as I hugged myself,

chilled, and waited for the starter, bent

forward, the tang of mown grass

sprayed like water and the white lines

freshly painted on the spongy red track,

breasting the tape, alone and splendid,

queen of my own universe, then the medal

like a tiny sun catching the last of the light,

and feeling as if my heart would burst.


from Not in this World (Bloodaxe, 2015), © Tracey Herd 2015, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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1What I Wanted

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2What I Remember

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3Glass House

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4Archive

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5Memoirs

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6Brigadoon

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7Louise Brooks

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8Not Fade Away

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9The First Blonde

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10Breakfast at Tiffany’s

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11Bombshell

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12Black Swan

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13The Living Library

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14Sheep

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15Not James Dean

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16The Buddy Holly Trilogy: Near Clearlake, Iowa

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17The Buddy Holly Trilogy: Five Seconds

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18The Buddy Holly Trilogy: The Music Men

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19A World with Only One Song

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20Dreams of Lost Summers and Found Lines

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21The Survivors

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22The Bathing Girls

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23Just One Request

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24The Siege

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25The Fortune Teller

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26Happy Birthday

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27The Unicorn Seat

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28Coronach

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29Sir Ivor

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30Ruffian

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31Lyric Fantasy

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32Spring in the Valley of the Racehorse

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33The Afternoon Shift are Leaving the Port Talbot Steelworks

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34Calling Card

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Books by Tracey Herd