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

Three Fables James Tate
A Shift in the Attic

             I was swinging on the porch when all of a sudden I fell over
and hit the floor. I don’t know how it happened, but I stood up and
brushed myself off. I stood there for a minute, dazed, and felt myself all over
to see if I was hurt. I seemed to be all right. I tested the swing to see
if it was broken, but it wasn’t. Maybe it was an earthquake. I walked into
the kitchen and a teacup fell on my head. I thought that was mighty
strange. I swept it up. I went back into the living room and sat down
on the couch. I picked up the newspaper and read about a little girl who
fell into a hole and was never seen again. It made me sad. How could
that happen? There’s an end to everything. My couch was sagging. I’m
going to hit the floor, I thought. And then I did. I got up and looked around.
This wasn’t my house at all. Yes, it was. There was the little penguin
on the wall, and the walrus beside him. I recognised everything, down
to the little worm on the floor. I moved to the chair beside the window
where the light would be better. Now I could see my hand, not that I wanted

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