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This poem is taken from PN Review 248, Volume 45 Number 6, July - August 2019.

Two Poems Gregory O'Brien

‘Buried at sea, yesterday.’
Epitaph for John Patrick O’Brien, as requested

How far from where you are to where
I am, both of us
dusted off, shirts

pressed, trousers adjusted. These songs being
such as
they are. Your hat

you’ll also be needing, that temple
of higher thought, index of
good government.

How far from whence you came
or whence we go

‘A man’s hat,’ you said,
‘should talk
to his shoes.’ Do you believe

there are sufficient days
in a life
for mourning

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