Poem introduction

A friend of mine used to work as a housing officer in the Midlands, and one day she told me about a visit to a tenant's house in which every surface of every room was covered with unopened bottles of milk. This seemed to me a rather beautiful image; but of course it wasn't. It masked a much sadder story of a young man who had been living with his parents when they died, and had been unable to cancel the milk. And so the deliveries built up, yellow and stinking - a story which seemed to me a lesson to self about seeing things as they truly are and not romanticising them.

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