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This poem is taken from PN Review 134, Volume 26 Number 6, July - August 2000.

Hypatia Norm Sibum


I went often to the town
To conduct business in the place
    With a populace of zealots, with other patriots.
The cows stood in their pastures. Fish swam in trout pools.
The librarian liked her gin, her men,
Her Dashiell Hammett novels. Everyone had weather
Good or bad, the bed & breakfast cedar-shingled
    In the woods.


Shirley at the truck stop, she of a hundred shapes, hefted herself
    Through village time and space.
'Dear' and 'hon' she said as she served the corn
And brought the sodas
To misdirected tourists,
Those ladies of blue hair,
    Powder, rouge, and substance.


A dream used to put me in a sweat.

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