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

Five Poems John Burnside

Signal Stop, near Horsley
Smoke in the woods
like someone walking in a silent film
beside the tracks.

A shape I recognise - not smoke, or not just smoke,
and not just snow on hazels
or fox-trails from the platform to the trees,

but winter, neither friend
nor stranger, like the girl I sometimes glimpse

at daybreak near the crossing, in a dress
of sleet and berries, gazing at the train.



Halloween
I have peeled the bark from the tree
...


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