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One Street, Two Worlds


The child in the white coat’s thinking of

making a run for it up that rain wet hill.


The mother reaches for her without standing

up, assumes the posture of a fallen tyrant’s

statue whilst her slippers grip the steep

pavement in the heroic posture of Sherpa

Tensing’s boots.


She is a tiny colossus spanning the gulf

between the two front doors, between

two worlds.  In that other world a family

look on in erect wonder at the sprawled

mother, the caped child. Is she drunk and


are there Christmas decorations in the

windows above the front doors?



© Stephen Devereux

Picture no. 10000964, photograph by Roger Mayne, 1969, image copyright Mary Evans / Roger Mayne Archive



Stephen Devereux writes poetry, plays, essays and short stories. He has had his work published in many magazines, journals and websites in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Australia and USA. He has won or been shortlisted in many competitions. He was born in rural Suffolk and worked on farms and in factories until going to UEA as a mature student. Since then he has taught in schools, colleges and universities in the North West. He lives in Liverpool.