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This poem is taken from PN Review 180, Volume 34 Number 4, March - April 2008.

Two Poems Paula Meehan


It is only when my father takes bad after Christmas
that we take the chance to get into his room.

It feels intrusive and yet it must be done
as delicately as we can we tiptoe round it.

With the sorting comes the weary recognition
that after this small room the earth shall claim him.

I sit amongst his things in the wintry sunlight
dusting, washing, swabbing down and with a shock

I recognize my younger rounder hand there
in sheafs of notes in tattered folders.

I turn a page and soon am restored to Trinity classrooms:
W.B. Stanford and the Roots of Greek Drama,

Dionysias and Beatlemania - an aside,
The Peloponnesian War, Pericles, the Athenian Fleet,

The Cynics, The Stoics, The Tyrants,

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