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This poem is taken from PN Review 196, Volume 37 Number 2, November - December 2010.

The Lesson of History Gregory Woods

A stone. A fable. Down among the beehives, brides
forgot their amorous appointments. From the comb
a flight of drones, a flood of honey. Attitudes
of older women: snide remarks and snooty glances,
unpleasant innuendo after Sunday service.
The ploughmen had forgotten how to follow a
straight line. They blamed the vintage, the eclipse, the cost
of living, dearth of single women, global warming
and popery. I ask you! Where a rock delayed
the blade they crossed themselves, but not without the further
precaution of the touching of their testicles
and spitting on the soil. Believable accounts
of pirates. Evidence of rape. Cigars. An eye-
patch, of all things! We watched the breakers breaking. Dusk.

The bell for evensong – as good a signal as
a firework or a fanfare that the pub was open.

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