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This poem is taken from PN Review 117, Volume 24 Number 1, September - October 1997.

Four Poems John Ashbery

Cousin Sarah's Knitting

You keep asking me that four times.
Why trust me I think.
There is, in fact, nobody here.

Nobody in the past.
Nobody to turn to for advice.
A yellow flagpole rears thoughtfully.
Now if you were that nice.

He was pulled from space,
as from a shark. After they examined him
they let him go. What does that prove?

And called him Old Hickory.
As in hickory. No there were
at that time none living

out of a sideshow at the edge of a forest
and were mistreated in proportion,
with understanding, so they all grew
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