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This poem is taken from PN Review 72, Volume 16 Number 4, March - April 1990.

The Red Shoes Roger Finch

The gates unclasp, and a seven-storey stairway,
hazed with weeds, climbs hillside toward the sky;
its columns are cypresses, punctuation marks
that shed the sun, black gloves on slender hands.
A woman gowned in peacock green ascends;
our eye catches on the peacock crest
that commands her sorrel hair, the pleated cloak
fanned out three steps behind her on the stairs.

Like a bolt of blondness suddenly uncrowned,
shards of opera, an idea of this woman's voice,
cascades from its cage and glitters in the sun;
a breeze starting south wrests from the lemon trees
branches of fragrance. The walkway banks; the sea,
indelibly blue behind the foreground greens,
surfaces into view, saturated with music.

If you were that woman in peacock green, if you turned
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