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This poem is taken from PN Review 81, Volume 18 Number 1, September - October 1991.

Two Poems Jenni Daiches


It is the darkest death.
I've always been afraid to drown.
Each encounter with the water,
Each swim a test.

Only the cormorant's eye
Lives, freakish bird,
Spilled on the desert edge
From a fractured sky.

On an almond-blossomed hill
Near Jerusalem I learned
To shoot with Mordechai's rifle.
Careless cruelties still

Wound me. The roof of the world
Is black. Hippocampus
Is broken, the imperial
Butterflyfish is humbled.

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