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This poem is taken from PN Review 164, Volume 31 Number 6, July - August 2005.

Four Poems Helen Tookey

Rosary

...Most of the beads were found clustered around the head area and were not
grouped in any obvious pattern. It is likely that they had formed one long
necklace, possibly incorporating one or more metal pendants, which fell into
disarray as their string decayed...

                  ('Tenth-Century Graves', in Excavations on St. Patrick's Isle, Peel, Isle of Man, 2002)

Her fingers were arranged
as though telling her beads;
her cardigan missed a button.
No one will know the hour,
no one will hear the slight sound,
when the rotted string breaks and
the beads scatter:
a new sequence of sorrows
whose meaning no one will tell.


War Lasts

Mid-November, the rain sets in. It seems
...


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