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This poem is taken from PN Review 262, Volume 48 Number 2, November - December 2021.

Montpeyroux Sonnets (2) Marilyn Hacker
A rainy Monday, everything is shut.
It could be late October; it’s mid-May.
Lights on at noon, outside, rain drums on gray
paving stones, drainpipes, voices. Nothing but
water on roof tiles in a steady beat,
the postman’s motorcycle passing by,
not stopping. Tomorrow, the bakery,
grocer, butcher  –  bread, vegetables, meat,
revivifying possibility
of a ‘bonjour’ exchanged with an unknown
person, whose eyes express the smile,
question, mistrust or curiosity
her or his face mask almost hides, as I 

exhale uneasily behind my own.
Exhale uneasily. Behind my own  
pretense of standing firmly, I’m unsteady

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