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Munich: Advanced German Course by Russon and Russon

By Jack Verschoyle




When I was young, we went to the seaside

for the holidays. The great breeze booming

through the dunes, the crabs with nippy arms astride:

when their waddle satisfied my sister, brother and I,

we tossed them, bubbling, back to their home –

their kelp, sand, and rock – swinging in the tide.


I wondered why they preferred this to my handsome bucket,

clad in green light with coastal friends: the anemone, the limpet.

With sun cream on my face, a sun hat on my head

and chubby legged – the hot exhale – naked as a glass bead.

In someone else’s footsteps I could walk up to where the shore fell

onto the sand where tracks stopped dead. To know much is a struggle.


My father, in the Autumn of nineteen eighty-one,

bought Advanced German Course by Russon and Russon.

Now their scripture sits on my shelf, and in my rucksack.

I’ve tried the phrases it contains, but they slip awkwardly

along my tongue. Like the crabs in my bucket by the sea,

they buck and weave around my pre-mould home, waiting to go back

beneath the waves.

Jack Verschoyle studies Logic and Philosophy of Science at LMU in Munich. He is from Oxford in the UK. He speaks English, some French and even less German.

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