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This poem is taken from PN Review 74, Volume 16 Number 6, July - August 1990.

The Other House Anne Stevenson

In the house of childhood
I looked up to my mother's face;
the sturdy roofbeam of her smile
buckled the rooms in place.
A shape of the unchangeable
  taught me the word 'gone'.

In the house of growing up
I lined my prison wall
with lives I worshipped as I read.
If I chose one, I chose all,
such paper clothes I coveted
  and ached to try on.

The house of youth has a grand door,
a ruin the other side
where death watch & company
compete with groom and bride.
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