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This poem is taken from PN Review 123, Volume 25 Number 1, September - October 1998.

Four Poems Owen Gallagher

Sat Guru Snowman

Using the infants' hands as a conveyor belt,
Satnam and Sarwan built a snowman,

packed and stacked each fistful square,
like blocks in an igloo, until it levelled with them.

Wrapped a cloth round its head like a bandage
to create a turban. Blackened its face with paint,

which dripped and overnight grew a beard of icicles.
They stood like guards, in bomber jackets

and called him Sat Guru Snowman. Next day
the school playground was full of Sikh snowmen.

Some wore top-knots that looked like mushrooms.
Unused Diwali candles lit them up at night.


The Turf Cutter's Dream

If I ever save enough, the turf cutter said,
I will buy a bog and build a house by it.
...


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