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This poem is taken from PN Review 186, Volume 35 Number 4, March - April 2009.

Three Poems Sinéad Morrissey

Vanity Fair

Dearest William -

I could begin by hoping you are well in England
(and I do!) now that the __th regiment has returned
to Chatham; or I could begin by telling you
that reports of worsening weather here are true;
that Georgie thinks you wicked and unkind
for leaving him; that your former servants pine;
or that father, though no better, is no worse, etc.
But this is not a weather-talk sort of letter.
It is after three. The whole house sleeps
(even Becky) and I am kept awake six weeks
by your crippling absence: an irony, I confess,
since for all your years of passionate presence
I failed to cherish you… Now that you’re gone,
Becky (and you were right about her all along)
...


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