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This poem is taken from PN Review 10, Volume 6 Number 2, November - December 1979.

Three Poems George Kendrick

Like puffs of dark smoke, trees are tumblingover the hill,
And Christ is being shown to the kings and oxen;
The nearby angels look distant, mouths open -
Even with patronage, painting is a miracle.

One of the oxen is looking at the baby, and lo!
the other is bellowing. Melchior has his eyes closed, an arm
painfully raised, as if asking to leave the studio;
Balthazar sits nursing his corns: Heaven comes to the farm.

Paint for your bread, if there's no other way.
Behind the Madonna, Caspar scowls up to see
God, or say "Jesus!" "You'll get paid," I say.
If I could get them posed I would paint a Nativity.


Like skating, or balancing a bike,
The skill is never lost if once you have it.
Glammogs, bollies, bottle-stoppers, clays-

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