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This poem is taken from PN Review 111, Volume 23 Number 1, September - October 1996.

Two Poems Gregory Woods

This Bird, That


This bird is an omen, that a potential meal.
We cleave to the conditions we could just as well
build pleasure domes against. The drizzle in our hair
is reassuring evidence of more to life
than setting minefields and extorting fortunes for
the maps. A small proportion in our midst look good
in uniform. We flatter them. We lick their boots.
They in return disdainfully acknowledge us
by starting minor wars for us to watch them win.


Relief is a matter of silences, desire
a shadow in the barrack room. From dead of night
to break of day the dreams we suffer from predict,
if we could only read them, personal events
years in advance, from sacraments to accidents
while crossing streets or climbing ladders, even slips

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