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This poem is taken from PN Review 160, Volume 31 Number 2, November - December 2004.

Two Poems Alfred Corn

The Mousetrap

For Nikolas Stangos and David Plante

`Tis the day after Christmas, London, Boxing Day, twelve noon,
AD2000. Outdoors,
as Hamlet's sentry (Act I, Scene i) says, `Not a mouse stirring.'

On Baker Street, though, once you stir, you'll spy, through parted curtains,
a matron dressed in blue,
boxing up surplus presents to be sent on to the needy.

(Thoughtful friends proposed and underwrote my holiday,
three weeks in Marylebone...
So, church mouse, rack your brains, and find a way of conveying thanks.)

No special rep for largesse stars the name of Arthur C. Doyle,
whose alter ego lodged
here at 221b, now `The Sherlock Holmes Museum.'

Trinkets in its shop window dangle from a dozen hooks.
And the cleaner's farther down
...


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