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This poem is taken from PN Review 116, Volume 23 Number 6, July - August 1997.

Her Vision Cliff Ashcroft

'Before being informed by her elders of the Virgin's identity she referred to her vision as "that thing''.'

Each street in the village is criss-crossed by twists of coloured
My footsteps raise hard puffs of yellow dust as I walk
down to the churchyard. It is a festival day.
The image will be taken from its shallow station
to my house on the further hill.

The church is an empty room divided by a curtain
and one step down. To either side of her
are the sombre icons - St Michael and St George.
At her feet, a set of cleaning utensils.
All the time I remember she was covering
and uncovering something she held in her hand,
something poor and mundane and now never mentioned.

The sun casts a eat's cradle on the white stone wall.

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