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This poem is taken from PN Review 249, Volume 46 Number 1, September - October 2019.

Three Poems Petra White

Our babe is born, her brow yours,
mine the nose, her little garden self
blasts out the quick years before.
In the thickness of time made of us three
and love that trembles like water in a pail.
We turn our heads to the most fantastic gods,
and pray, like lovers, for the small and large of our lives.
Mortal love, in the hands of lovers!
It is made of us, our narrative, our breath alone:
it’s language a raucous mortgage, a ticking foetus,
your favourite spoon, a snipe-nosed cat,
a domestic ode that sweeps us into line.


Happiness, they say, is an outward duty,
misery best hidden. But sorrow

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