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This poem is taken from PN Review 266, Volume 48 Number 6, July - August 2022.

Jacky Fleur Adcock
i.m. Jacqueline Simms, 1940–2021

Let’s go back in time, Jacky,
now that the present is not much fun,
to the menagerie you proposed,
entitled The Oxford Book of Creatures.

The range would be from whale to amoeba,
we agreed: Moby Dick to Cell DNA.
The whole of literature was eligible,
although with a limit on dogs and cats,

I was to find the poems, you the prose.
I plodded through alphabetical shelves
in libraries. You consulted friends,
and turned the project into a party.

Our final editorial meeting
was like a horizontal version of
varnishing day at the Academy,

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