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

Three Poems Hamish Ironside

Bird Song

The flightless young bird sings
To the girl on the bed through her open window
As a breeze reaches her skin like the shadow
Of a cloud. The bird spreads its wings

And in her room the girl shuts her eyes
And her breathing quickens, seeing the drop
Below, and she wants to, but can't, stop,
And feels she'll fall, but, no: she flies.

The Man Across the Road

Those were the days when it meant nothing - beer
And postcards, ducks, pyjamas, sugary wine,
Your lips sucking mine, your brother whose name
I could never remember, the single still flame

Of the bathroom candle, shingles, asthma - all
Rushed past, unclassified, uncaged, and left
Like snow. We had a code: to never speak

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