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This poem is taken from PN Review 239, Volume 44 Number 3, January - February 2018.

Two Poems Lawrence Sail
The Smoke-tree

Something zigzag in its branchwork
and the crown – flat, broad –
suggest China,
        an overhang
above steep water

The leaves are tender, shaped
like small oval fans –
the sap, when
        it oozes, has
an odd medicinal smell

In summer the panicles, sketchy,
faintly purple, papery
as a wasps’ nest,
        fall and
bowl into corners

Autumn is the most exotic –
it flames through scarlet, crimson
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