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This poem is taken from PN Review 146, Volume 28 Number 6, July - August 2002.

We Two Against the World James Russell

I came out fighting and my eyes were marble-bright
Coloured bruise-blue, wearing father's shoulders
Like a cloak, mother's temper sparking in my joints.

I was so round and hard and woken-up you might
Have thought I'd polished off two sibs inside.
My fists were tight tucked with unopposable thumbs.

I might have been their 'little girl' but I knew I
Was nothing young on earth. I'd precognised
The horrors: smashed fixtures from the night before,

Their patented dry rot, that they would only share
Those dreams that star four water-running walls.
And all the time I dreamt of you. I dreamed I'd wrap

You up in sheets and call you 'Clovis' and that we'd act
In plays whose composition and control
Was mine. I knew you would be sweet. I precognised

The whole damned thing. He saw it in my face, that man.
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