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This poem is taken from PN Review 63, Volume 15 Number 1, September - October 1988.

Dancing Ledge Paul Mills

All day the sun was an explosion
Cooling to a long slant in the grass.
Ten years after the war, I was seven.
The rocks seemed British but only just.
Not ten yards from thirty feet of sea
I looked aside for the few legendary
Germans who reached here drowned.

All night across my back and arms
I lay in a sheet of burning,
A matchflare on my shoulders from the sun.
Chalk scents blew at the open window,
Dust from the wide down.
Every evening we walked to the same
Massive collision and dislodgement

Of rocks and waves, manned by wire
And gun emplacements at intervals
On the Channel. A thumped note
...


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