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This poem is taken from PN Review 96, Volume 20 Number 4, March - April 1994.

Eight Poems Alison Brackenbury

After Beethoven
After he died she came, a veiled lady,
Who stood beside the bed. Nothing was said.
(There was a widow, who had had a child.)
She did not brush his forehead with her fingers,
She stood: now robed in fat beneath her furs,
Her veil the dark of time.

When she went home she cried a little, blotched
Her face, then stopped. Her daughter had gone out.
She clasped her hands, with their false ring, and listened.

The bed was warm, but when she reached the street
The keen air made her shawl a cave of white.
Her feet, in their small boots, broke through the snow
Softer, and faster, like a young girl dancing.

He never heard those steps. He quarrelled with her,
Struck her with silence, would not hear her name.
Now she spoke his; and snuffing out the candle,
...


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