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This poem is taken from Poetry Nation 2 Number 2, 1974.

Double-Barrel Michael Longley

Soft Target

I am a soft target, head
And shoulders, a hair's breadth

Now that the lines intersect
And you nail me to the sky.

Sea-burial

We are sailors now, and grant them
- The dead men in their coffins,
The skeletons in our cupboard -

A sea-burial: our sheets
Pulled up over them, their bodies
Launched from beneath our flag.

Voice-box

An animal stirs in your throat:
To unlock that particular cage

Would be to set howling the cats
And dogs of the entire district.
...


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