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This poem is taken from PN Review 86, Volume 18 Number 6, July - August 1992.

Poems Matthew Francis

A NOCTURNAL

The kitchen's full of the north wind.
  You wouldn't want to live there, shivering
on a blue-tiled island
without heating. We leave the oven on
  so that the fan half-hides the hurrying
of the outer darkness forcing its way in.
  Too wild for cooking.

Something is stirring the Christmas cards
  as if they're planning to go off somewhere,
their sails catching the trades.
You cannot always keep the weather out.
  It has a prior claim to everywhere,
especially now, the most voluminous night
  of the whole year.

I have been reading Donne again,
...


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