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This poem is taken from PN Review 85, Volume 18 Number 5, May - June 1992.

The Scheme of Things Andrew Waterman


How it enfolds me now, that earliest world
whispering against the garden fence:
a leftover stretch of Epping Forest curled
round our small suburban crescent. In its dense
thickets and bracken, sun-splashed glades, our play,
near as my heartbeat still woodpigeons brooding,
sudden again the blue flash of a jay.
Why should I hesitate, as if intruding?

- Who clinging high in that storm-buffeted tree
once sang, "Eternal Father, strong to save,"
the hymn "for those in peril on the sea",
thrilling to know joy won by being brave,
fears simple then, unstained by guilts or failure.
Boughs creaked. When I grew up, I'd be a sailor.


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