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At the Bottom of Kielder Water by Joe Williams

‘There are villages,’ they said.

Houses, and a school, a church,
and if you swam down far enough
you’d find them, could poke your head
inside, like a goldfish in a shell.

But someone else said ‘Bollocks,’
they knocked it all down long before
they let the water in.

As if that makes a difference.

As if the ghosts of Plashetts don’t
still float between their sodden rooms,
backstroke to the village shop
for milk, bread, the Chronicle,
news from yet-unsmothered towns
where trout don’t pass through walls,
and not everybody knows what it’s like
to feel the water rising
over their heads.