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This poem is taken from PN Review 205, Volume 38 Number 5, May - June 2012.

Four Poems Sinéad Morrisey
The Second Coming of Christ


The summer my mother joined the Seventh-day Adventists -
announcing over dinner that Saturday was the Sabbath
and the practice of Sunday worship, an invention of Rome -

the stock-markets crashed in August. I'd been off work
for weeks, keeping immaculate house, craning my neck to catch
the sea's inhalation at the rim of the village,

its ochre-bouldered aftermath, and thinking too much
of the black-edged photograph in Orlando Figes' A People's Tragedy
of women of the 'former classes' in the winter of 1919,

selling whatever they owned on the streets of St Petersburg.
Carpets, samovars, oyster knives, if they existed,
have long since been bartered for bread. Instead, they proffer

a coat or a blanket, three spoons, a dinner plate,
at the rag-end of what can be done without,
though one of them still wears a veil, as though to block the shame
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