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

Three Poems John Burnside


A Map for Exiles

1
How a snowfall lightens the dark,
till the road and the woods and the near
farmsteads belong, all at once,
to the sky,
and the yellow of distance.

How quiet we are at dawn,
crossing a field or standing in a yard,
still half-asleep, but lit by a slow-burning
wonder.

        It's still for miles:
the given world returns our steady gaze;
little owls wander the last
ribbons of night,
plucking the mice from their daydreams
of grass and warmth.
...


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