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This poem is taken from PN Review 243, Volume 45 Number 1, September - October 2018.

Five Poems from ‘Ring Cairns’ Peter Riley
We are incredible. Our tombs say so. We are
the children of work-destroyed bodies. We walk
up to the circular cemetery at midnight

and shout: ‘Lazare, veni foramI know you’re in there!
Come out of it. And tell us the truth,
after the event, do we wake up or what?

And if we do, what does the world matter?  No,
he says, and the owls signal along the woods each
to each in heraldic hoots: Brother, sister, it turns out

there is no knowing, as we’ve always known.
They say no more but, credible creatures, defy
the regression of polity, crunch a few mice and amen.


I remember…  I forget what I remember.  
Ah, Robyn, gentle Robyn, your soft locks
on my forehead and nobody said a word.

It’s not a folk song. It’s a technicality.

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