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This poem is taken from PN Review 185, Volume 35 Number 3, January - February 2009.

Three Poems Carola Luther

Showdown

Whose side are you on, Mrs Mimosa? You failed to explain
that her feet would weep in the languor of hay - fever moons.
I have watched her tire, the horse of her droop, listless, breathless,
hauling terror and disgust for so long over these disinterested hills.
She has stretched as far as she can with her newly gloved hands,
but they are deceptive, septic, will shame us tomorrow
when the real work starts and the athletes converge for the showdown.

You misled us with calm Mrs Mimosa, as if failure follows like day
follows night, inevitable, neutral as breathing. Why didn't you warn
of the bloat, the twist of a body that has used the last of its lightning?
Or the thing that happens to limbs when the dribble of will dries up,
the smell of flesh, the yesterday smell of parlours. She weakens
Mrs Mimosa, a leylandii - black in her brain keeps her awake,
an oozing under her skin, she is becoming a snail, she is punctured.

And you with your tranquil hair, shifting your silks so the light
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