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This poem is taken from PN Review 197, Volume 37 Number 3, January - February 2011.

Three Poems Fergus Allen
Before Troy

I rested under an evergreen oak
And casually scuffed my shoes in the dust,
Empty espresso cup cooling beside me
With a sugar-loving fly making enquiries.
(Of course it might have been an acacia,
But no, no, I think it was a holm oak.)

So I sat quietly under the holm oak,
The dregs of the stimulant at my elbow.
Music of sorts emanated from somewhere,
Twangy, with an attention-seeking rhythm.
A dog I’d have called a pye-dog in India
Sidled around, keeping a slant eye open.

It was hot, sitting there under the ilex,
Staring at the hotel across the square
Where the rowdies had started on their drinks

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