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This poem is taken from PN Review 126, Volume 25 Number 4, March - April 1999.

Two Poems Lawrence Bradby

Small Comforts

I

'Would you say that your life is at some sort of cross-roads?'
If it were then I'd have to choose one of three paths,
But this place seems more like a lay-by
And all I can see are the tail-lights of cars.


II

'No one said life would be easy'.
And to prove it the Life Insurance clerk
Casually ringed the very name of my illness on a leaflet
Entitled Payout Exclusions, then got back to his work.


III

Sickness and Time are well known for their skill:
The first one will teach you the second will heal.
It's a ramshackle door-to-door confidence trick
I would rather avoid, staying young, thick and fit.


IV

'Patience' prescribed my doctor.
'Take life one day at a time.
You next appointment will be with the locum;
I'm taking two weeks in the Provencal sunshine.'
...


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