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

Two Poems Thomas McCarthy
From Salonica

The bulky Famine ship that came over the sea was a fork

And never a spoon. The sea couldn’t be bothered.
The shore was a surprise of place settings
Neatly arranged, the moist food ample

And nourishing, the Ajax sailing for Bristol,
Sixty boxes of salmon, three hundred lambs aboard.
Inbound, the Iona from Philadelphia,
Wanting to be part of our story, a berth in the pageant

That would go on and on. Sugar from Trinidad

For our betters in the city, the Kaffirland
With guano, the Aurora with Bangor manure.
The Lizzie Anne for Alexandria, Seagull from Odessa;

And from Salonica, the Flying Cloud.
Something miraculous in the continuity of trade,
As miraculous as the way we’re still upset

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