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This poem is taken from PN Review 150, Volume 29 Number 4, March - April 2003.

On Omitting the Word 'Just' from my Vocabulary Sinéad Morrissey

And here I am in a room I don't recognise, being
angular and contemporary, with its own
unabashed light source and the table clear.

I must be somewhere Scandinavian.
Where weather is decisively one way
or the other, and summer,

or winter, will not brook contradiction.
Even the ornaments (such as they are)
are purposeful: a stone dog stares into the fireplace

as though pitting itself against fire
for the next quarter-century.
(How you cannot say `just' and `pregnancy'.)

There is a fissure in store for me here.
There are no wall hangings. Or rugs.
The door is locked against me.

My own audacity in coming here
astounds me. Yet I step purposefully.
I swell uncontrollably.

Beyond in the hallway
the tongue of a bell is banging against its shell.
It sounds like a coffin lid,

or as definitive.
It is marking the hours until I break into two
and loose/gain everything.

This poem is taken from PN Review 150, Volume 29 Number 4, March - April 2003.



Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this poem to editor@pnreview.co.uk
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