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This poem is taken from PN Review 110, Volume 22 Number 6, July - August 1996.

Four Poems Sinéad Morrissey


Between Here and There

I
No one seems sure of the reason why aprons
Are tied to the necks of stone babies in temples.
The priest says 'honour':
The guide to Kyoto City mentions 'cold
On their journey away from us to the heaven for children'.
I look at them squatting in Buddha-reflection,
Wrapped up to the throat in teddy bears and trains.

II
There's a graveyard for miscarriages under Ikeda mountain
As stark as a bone-field. No flowers, tangerines, saki or aprons
But a basin of stone bodies in two parts: square body, roundhead.
Like oriental soldiers contained by a wall, they would go walking -
Spill over with all the energy for life that fell out of them too soon.
Except that even in stone some bodies have opened:
Loose balls in the basin where heads have rolled.
...


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