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This poem is taken from PN Review 137, Volume 27 Number 3, January - February 2001.

Two Poems Paul O'Prey


Without Words

(for Robert Graves)

Waiting that winter seemed interminable.
Taunted by the empty lane you still kept faith
in her return: the story was incomplete
and silence no ending.

The courtship had always been one-sided,
but never such indifference.
There had been no quarrel, but between poets
no word was equal to betrayal.

Had she really ever come? And if not,
had you then written not truth but fantasy?
Intolerable doubt, unshaken by poems
whose chronicle of love was imagination.

Finally you went back in, and as if
resolved that without her you would shun all
...


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