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This poem is taken from PN Review 159, Volume 31 Number 1, September - October 2004.

'After the Operation' and Other Poems Dom Moraes

After the Operation

i

From a heavenly asylum, shrivelled Mummy,
glare down like a gargoyle at your only son,
who now has white hair and can hardly walk.
I am he who was not I. It's hot in this season
and the acrid reek of my body disturbs me
in a city where the people die on pavements.
That I'm terminally ill hasn't been much help.
There is no reason left for anything to exist.
Goodbye now. Don't try and meddle with this.

Why does your bloated corpse cry out to me
that I took from the hospital, three days dead?
I'd have come before, if the doctors had said.
I couldn't kiss you goodbye, you stank so much.
Or bear to touch you. Anyway, bye-bye, Mumsie.


ii

Trapped in a place where I did not want to be
...


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