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This poem is taken from PN Review 258, Volume 47 Number 4, March - April 2021.

For Anne Stevenson (1933–2020) Peter Scupham
Lament for a Maker

Dear Anne, our shooting star, you’ve left us all
your lovelies weeping on a faraway shore’:
husbands, friends, loves, admirers – a host
who suffered your hilarious devastations
tense with quaking joy. I see your hands
compassionately poised above my birthday cake,
the steel plied deftly. Though it winced
the blood was swiftly staunched, and we were left
with crumbs of sharp, sustaining comfort.

Oh, attic nights, when salt could lose no savour
rubbed in the wounds your rapier-talk inflicted.
As hours grew smaller, your imprecations
and efficacious ‘fucks’ rose up the chimney
to make Orion blush, or Father Christmas,
as poets known, unknown, yet to be born,

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