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in this time when even
breathing is a danger
from running hard just to be
at the back of the pack
from the hundreds of years
bearing down on your chest
take up less space do not be
so obvious so demanding
stand quietly in the shadows
do not ask for your share
try not to draw attention to yourself
as you go about your business
but if you are waiting
for things to change
do not hold your breath
instead draw it all in
and blow this house down
Nick Allen’s latest book between two rivers (Maytree Press, 2019) is a collaboration with the York-based artist Myles Linley. 21st-century Poetry is edited by Andy Croft, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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