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This poem is taken from PN Review 49, Volume 12 Number 5, May - June 1986.

Poems Brian Jones


Ignorant of Dante and Beatrice, of
Petrarch and Laura, of all myth,
knowing only the astonishment of adoration,
I trailed her as her slow step grazed
the earth, her pale face lifted sky-pale
god-humorous eyes. A satchel of wind riffled
pages swung at her shoulder. I yearned
my Keatsian love at her, and dared not speak.
Three years later, a student hauling sacks
for ten pounds a week, I saw her crossing
a grim yard, her hair scarfed back, her hands
careful with papers. I rushed to stand before her,
knowing she would recognize me. She passed
unblinking. Operations had been performed.


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