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

Two Poems Rachel Hadas


Three Years

In the hotel room where, since you'd come back,
you and I would be staying for a while,
I wrestled with a huge stiff duffel bag,
trying to pack

clocks, shoes, books, spoons, my palpitating heart
into a space where they could never fit.
Or - rooting, cursing - was I still unpacking?
You stood apart,

illegibly remote, although so near,
waiting for - waiting. We were each of two
minds: should we stay and bicker in this room
or should we go

out, risk the world, and, stage by hopeless stage,
sickness and separation one more time?
...


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