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This poem is taken from PN Review 44, Volume 11 Number 6, July - August 1985.

Les Baricades Misterieuses Charles Maude

Bronze-dusted city, you tell me what I know
already: I should write. But what I see,
when the poem won't answer, is a well,
shaded by heavy greens, in Verona, not
that it matters. There, three women sit and do
something quiet and secret, discussing love

and the north light. Then . . . even though I would love
to be part of it, I turn away; say No,
and turn the change in my pocket. What should I do?
'I want' goes walking away like smoke out at sea,
and back home, whether you like it or not,
there are always interesting things to do well.

A lake preening stillness, secret as a well,
saw us walk into the dusk. We claimed to love
one another, preening, tying the knot
of commitments, knowing we did not know
the way back to the car it was too dark to see.
The metalled road shakes with marching, will not do

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