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This poem is taken from PN Review 100, Volume 21 Number 2, November - December 1994.

Five Poems Patricia Beer

Pharaoh's Dream
In childhood I thought of cows and dreams together
Starting from Pharaoh's dream of seven well-favoured kine
Followed by seven other kine, lean-fleshed
That did eat them up.

Joseph the farmer, dressy as Pharaoh, told him
At once that throughout his many-coloured land
Famine would succeed plenty, seven years of each.
Pharaoh wrung his smooth

Hands, not having considered such a meaning.
Literal in eastern daylight he could not see
Cows eating each other or being real danger.
I thought he was stupid.

I knew the red cows of East Devon.
Our branch-line ran through water-meadows and they
Were always getting on the track. We knew
...


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