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This poem is taken from PN Review 58, Volume 14 Number 2, November - December 1987.

Three Poems Peter Robinson

For Lavinia

When she re-entered - from mutilation, rape
- unspeaking in a painted Roman landscape,
I couldn't rid my own mind of those shapes . . .
for you had also stared and strayed and cried

without a sound, besides the wind through trees,
rain on the road; what could I ever say to ease
your unfathomable hurt, now each turned phrase
unnerves - as bad weather does dumb scars,

the shame she's not permitted to outlive?
It dries my tongue and lips till they can't move.
And what would I be trying to achieve?

Lavinia, I've said too much already.

Overlooking Verona

Had the gate attendant tried to cheat us
by short-changing, I wouldn't know -
...


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