Poems of the Week

Dear English Heritage

by Eddie Aderne

“Mystery sender returns key ‘borrowed’ from Norman tower in 1973 …
The note read: “Dear English Heritage. Please find enclosed, large key to … [sic]
‘St Leonard’s Tower, West Malling, Kent.’
It added: ‘Borrowed 1973. Returned 2020.
‘Sorry for the delay. Regards.’”
The Guardian

Dear English Heritage, Please find
Enclosed what you (de facto) lent
To me, the not-quite-undersigned,
While touring in West Malling, Kent.
Full forty-seven years ago,
I borrowed your substantial key,
Returned, with this—delayed, I know—
Anonymous apology.
Perhaps not quite the full nine yards,
But guilt goes just so far. Regards.