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This poem is taken from PN Review 43, Volume 11 Number 5, May - June 1985.

Poems Stephen Romer

MAGPIES

There's speech for this only when she's away
and the big-tailed premonitory magpie
keeps his own bad company

creaking through the thick
rain, and no easy talk
will do, and no high talk

of marriage keeping guard
over another's solitude
- this is solitude

and horribly unlike the medium
we sustain through time;
I cannot name

it, lived in not seen
or known
only as a flickering third companion

is known, or by its rupture,
a whirlpool in the running water
...


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