Photo by Andreanna Moya.

Oak

When my father saw an advert in the Echo
for a big house at a peppercorn rent
he rang and heard a voice with a slight croak
enquire – Can you read a map? – Yes. – OK
meet me tomorrow noon . . . (the voice gave co-ordinates).
So he drove through the green deep past Wenlock
and stopped in a lane beside a field gate
where soon another car appeared
and unburdened itself of an elderly gent.
– The name’s Forester. (Eliding the Lord.)
He walked my father to the gate and asked
what he could see: at first, nothing but trees
in the distance. – D’you mean that . . . magnificent oak?
– The house is yours. I’ll have them send the keys.

by Jamie McKendrick.

You can also read Jamie McKendrick’s poem ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’ in Granta 119:
Britain
. You can pre-order a
copy
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You can also see Jamie McKendrick in conversation as part of the launch of
Britain
on 10 May at
Waterstones
Piccadilly, London.