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This poem is taken from PN Review 228, Volume 42 Number 4, March - April 2016.

Boy with a Coney Laura Kilbride
for Ian Patterson

Hearing of molten rock which fell to mountains,
meeting with three-faced statues on the beaches,
returning suddenly to the fact of marble
on sand dunes where the wind whips round my ankles,
we honour sculptors of these sacred places
whose sculpture marks the limits of our honour.

Once the gods were worthy of our honour
keeping to hidden pathways in the mountains
they spoke through fields of fire in certain places
and met with mortals. On these blackened beaches
the goddess held Achilles by the ankles
and he grew god and knew it, strong as marble.

Who poets sing of, sculptors wrest in marble –  
the god’s own likeness people likewise honour
and tie their sacred garlands round his ankles.

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