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This poem is taken from PN Review 97, Volume 20 Number 5, May - June 1994.

Autumn Iain Crichton Smith

The boy in brown school uniform is munching an apple.
The air is beginning to grow cold on the teeth.

In the bare fields, there are barrel-shaped strawy bales,
and a buzzard rests comfortably on a fence post.

Time to assess, facing the bathroom mirror in the morning,
while the vague steam wreathes about you.

Time to remember those you have betrayed,
those who are waiting to write your history

The young boy riding the tractor plays pop music:
the hills are upside down in calm lochs.

She passes your window again, the girl with the two black dogs
who are dragging her eagerly towards the village.

Will you watch the minister chatting at the church door
in his black cloak, finished with the sermon.

Eat your strawberries, and consider the rowan tree
which reflects serenely from the ballads.

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