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This poem is taken from PN Review 121, Volume 24 Number 5, May - June 1998.

Two Poems Christopher Middleton

Is There No Name for What We Are Losing?

Finally we found it: a square of dust.
Ancient walls festooned with moss and flowers;
Not far the hoot, again, of a little owl,
Drop by drop in water. And laundry hung
High on the walls, bedsheets, shirts, pantaloons
Danced in sunlight, taking the good air
While a boy on a bicycle rode around
And small shops invited our attention.

Yet this, after all, was not the place.
You know its touch: a cold oblivion.
How does a real thing come to haunt a picture?
Distance is not contracted on a road map,
Monsters on impulse crave to be included.
Postcards, anyway, gave the place a name
Not the one stuck in our craw that morning.
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