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This poem is taken from PN Review 209, Volume 39 Number 3, January - February 2013.

'Landings' and Other Poems Sarah Howe

His new posting sounded like an old joke:
one naval Sub-Lieutenant required in landlocked
. Pulled off two years on fishery quotas -
'chasing trawlers' - to be beached in a Helmand
prefab. Across his hot bunk's terrain he stretched
the telescoping cane from his landmine kit
just to hear it click. He fingered the issued
plastic markers - navigable stars, more fit
for a game of jacks. Thoughts thrown back
to a longitude off Lisbon, where the bluefins'
silvered fuselages suffered their landings
in Atlantic sun. Blood mingled on the deck.
Their great fins flashing aerofoils. The brightening
eyes of mis-bailed pilots, tangled in their strings.

The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia

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