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This poem is taken from PN Review 102, Volume 21 Number 4, March - April 1995.

The Thread Jon Stallworthy

Burningly it came on me all at once,
This was the place!

   Robert Browning, 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came'

I was walking as so often on my own,
but nowhere that I knew or wished to be.
There was this desolate plain in front of me.
To left and right, acres of broken stone,
acres of stone behind, and looking down
I saw bare feet under my dimity

and from one heel a brownish thread
stitching stone to stone. I felt no pain,
only a turmoil I could not explain -
a sort of seething in my chest and head,
as if a swarm of bees had nested
in a hollow trunk, and were again

about to swarm. I had no memory,

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