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This poem is taken from PN Review 220, Volume 41 Number 2, November - December 2014.

‘Noctilucent’ and Other Poems Judith Willson

We cross the garden: slant sun, slack tide of shadow.
He is remembering woods below San Pietro, the ragged end of a war.
Soldier and red-cloaked shepherd on the road,
the old man stilling his dog, waiting in the white road.
He watches now: his stumble down, wading knee-deep
through tangled nets of dazzle, spills of shade,
to the soft chalk curve between the trees,
the red cloak burned in his eyes. His hand, unsure.

He says, If a person walking raises his hand
he sees the shadow of each finger doubled

Trees slide down to lap us, attentive to our solitudes,
until the hollow dark is filled with memory of light –
fluorescence, phosphor glow, poppies’ slow burn;
ghostlights to guide our double-going.

James Turrell’s Deer Shelter Skyspace, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

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