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This poem is taken from PN Review 71, Volume 16 Number 3, January - February 1990.

Four Poems Stephen Romer

Retrospect

What were you looking at
when you watched a bird of prey?

Vision and wilfulness and power,
the spirit unleashed and peregrine,
archetypes of the single life!

The freedom to stoop
where you would on attractive prey

or master the channels of the air
like the handsome osprey
scouring the loch for fish,
feeding their young, and then away,
mate from pair, from the young grown up,
with a single beat of his strong white wing

- from a shackling tenderness, or care.
like Ithaca, grown lustrous in postponement,
...


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