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This poem is taken from PN Review 240, Volume 44 Number 4, March - April 2018.

Bird of Sorrow Rachel Spence
(Medea’s Song)
after St Augustine and Emily Dickinson

She remembers islands. An archipelago shaped
like a meniscus. Grids that refuse language

Some idea of happiness

Her task is to unstitch time, lay it on the beach
in bolts of raw, unpicked cotton

the women singing
the hobbled syntax of exile

Her gaze rakes
the horizon                                   She is seeking the
packed in leaky crates
                                       vulnerable as turtles
making a run for the sea

She remembers doves. Kings leaping

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