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This poem is taken from PN Review 53, Volume 13 Number 3, January - February 1987.

Islanders Rodney Pybus

  A new arrival last night at supper: I thought I was busy
sucking the buttery flesh from samphire when suddenly . . .
I knew the words before I read them. Blue envelope,
stained by sea or tears, Mauritius rupee stamps,
grey and purple from the '35 Jubilee set (yes,
before I was born). I've come to know his florid hand.
We're all islands, I suppose, sending messages, pens dipped
in ultramarine, floating them out on hope.
Addicted to punctilio I may be, but I've no answer
for these letters that keep rising uncalled for
when I close my eyes for a serious day-dream.

(Forgive the silence, Elizabeth. I've had a touch
of malaria - still not over it. This letter may
be disjointed. It's odd, I don't know how many
days and nights I've lost out of my life.
When the fever took me by the throat, time just blurred
...


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