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This poem is taken from PN Review 9, Volume 6 Number 1, September - October 1979.

Before Company Andrew Motion

1.
It is always the same: waking alone
to rows of ochre lights in the village
a field away, then watching them
flicker when birds set out or trees
drive shadows between. With no one

to listen I name them whatever I like
say they are perfect communities,
windows completing a broken globe
where speech renews itself. Ten years
is little enough to learn their lives

ignore my own, fulfilling a tiny room
as soft familiar silence settles again.
How suddenly fear begins; imaging
love denied its visible world I see
him sleeping upstairs, who calls me

darling, his wife, and almost believe
...


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