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This poem is taken from PN Review 260, Volume 47 Number 6, July - August 2021.

Montpeyroux Sonnets Marilyn Hacker
Village gone silent in pandemic mode.
School’s closed. One small girl with a bike is out.
The narrow street recedes into its doubt
of baker, butcher, neighbour. On the road,
cars rarify, whisk by trees that explode
in redbud, apple blossom, presage fruit.
‘Have you had your first, your second shot?’
Masked conversations shrivel into code.
When I was here last, I could walk three miles
back to my histories in Arboras,
sweater in backpack, if the wind turned cold.
I could see people’s faces. Chatter was
about elections, new café, roof-tiles.
When I was here last, I was not so old.

When I was here last, I was not an old
wolf enclosed all winter in a cave,
no pack, no steppes, no prey, who didn’t starve
except for conversation. I unfold

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