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This poem is taken from PN Review 45, Volume 12 Number 1, September - October 1985.

Poems Elizabeth Jennings

THE CHILD'S STORY

When I was small and they talked about love I laughed
But I ran away and I hid in a tall tree
Or I lay in asparagus beds
But I still listened.
The blue dome sang with the wildest birds
And the new sun sang in the idle noon
But then I heard love, love, rung from the steeples, each belfry,
And I was afraid and I watched the cypress trees
Join the deciduous chestnuts and oaks in a crowd of shadows
And then I shivered and ran and ran to the tall
White house with the green shutters and dark red door
And I cried 'Let me in even if you must love me'
And they came and lifted me up and told me the name
Of the near and the far stars,
And so my first love was.


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