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This poem is taken from PN Review 120, Volume 24 Number 4, March - April 1998.

Four Poems David Constantine


I know a few girls who might well be angels.
One with a passion for railways. Her most likely.
Show her a branch line vanishing in bluebells
She feels it like a thread. From here, she says,

Give me a week I'll be in Mozdok.
She has the connections at her fingertips.
I have a coward soul. I lie awake
Begging the saints and all the old gods

Whichever had responsibility for wayfarers
Watch her. Intervene on her side. Cancel
Oncoming human error. I see her
Stuck somewhere bad with no train out till Monday

Asking a bed for the night from total strangers.
Must be she wakes an ancient obligation:
This we should do, this we should never do

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