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This poem is taken from PN Review 171, Volume 33 Number 1, September - October 2006.

Two Poems Tim Liardet


The Ailing

 Strange how the dropped crockery does not break
 nor reach the floor, and no one notices. Here in this place
 of locked cells and of lines kept reassuringly straight

 things grow comfortable very slowly. The thought
 swims in water brought to the boil, the huge and nameless event
 steps in through the wall, and no one notices.

 The click of the guard's shoe cannot quite catch up with
 its metal tip. What might be a film plays in silence...
 And rueful Wilbur's sentence? Oh, a thousand years, served

 in hair-fall and scissor-snips, if snip could catch the scissors
 and he could remember how to play. Look how his arms
 are secured behind his back, and hands slightly more

 eager than his own have been fed through his sleeves
 to yawn the bow softly across his cello.
 Somewhere, years back, the first note snivels.
...


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