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This poem is taken from PN Review 246, Volume 45 Number 4, March - April 2019.

The Window-Ledge Jeffrey Wainwright
Let me not look outside today, but ignoring the lightwell,
the lawn, the tree and all the world outside and what
it might mean, look just at my window-ledge
and its horse-brass screwed into a wooden base;
the tea-bell chased with indistinct Egyptian scenes,
its tinkly clapper long gone probably; a dromedary
kneeling, patient, loaded and ready to rise,
a ‘ship of the desert’; and three monkeys
insisting they will see, hear and speak no evil,
all these things the last of the brasses we had at home,
‘done’ in those days, that is polished, weekly.
Then there is a photo of me perhaps aged 4, smiling nicely
in a white vyella blouse, its plastic frame
no bigger than some foreign postage-stamp
and next to that a tin compass, simple enough
but still able to tell me I am facing south.

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