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This poem is taken from PN Review 26, Volume 8 Number 6, July - August 1982.

Two Poems Wyatt Prunty

DOMESTIC OF THE OUTER BANKS

For days the house is dark and slightly cold;
The wind is locked in curtains, in cupboards,
Is damply waiting on the cellar stairs
While fever burns beneath a single sheet.

She skims the room with shallow lungs for breath;
Her eyelids close by white and blue degrees
To patterns thrown upon a screen like paint,
Like aqua over sand in rhythmed sleep.

Here is the final illness of her age,
The pulse and watch unwinding into air
That waits between the walls and floors for fire,
For heat to draw the flesh to boney form.

Sick for an animate face
And single name to call this house,
Taut in the linen of a worn estate
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