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This poem is taken from PN Review 47, Volume 12 Number 3, January - February 1986.

Poems Patricia Beer

ELECTION NIGHT

'Politicians are a race apart' says a fellow viewer
Far into election night. We have lost our sleep
With those strange people. The winners, like counting
    horses,
Have got it right and been led off home.

We see the losers, in a junket dawn,
Heading out of yesterday along the M4,
Overtaking frowsy trucks, driving at ninety,
Stopping on the hard shoulder to confer.

We see them again drawn up before their houses.
Flowers which are neighbourless and neglected
Straggle and gasp over synthetic urns.
The affronted cat holds its back legs stiff.

They are unreal, yet they haul their luggage
Out of the boot like anybody else returning.
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