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This poem is taken from PN Review 144, Volume 28 Number 4, March - April 2002.

Seven Poems Andrew McNeillie

Waiting for Woodies

I waited in those days until the evening thinned
All light away to distant strings and
Starry clusters, and a green pier-light
Blowing, like a bird's bright eye,
Away below, starboard on that seaboard.

It's not that I let anything distract me
At that wood's edge where I stood sentry.
Though I heard the odd one flutter home
Far behind me, and remembered the scent
Of cropped clover and barley.

And caught a kestrel, anchored at
The corner of my eye, but kept my watch unblinking,
Through thick and thin, though rain spat sharply
And night loomed in. Still they wouldn't come.
As if something warned them I was there.

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