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This poem is taken from PN Review 25, Volume 8 Number 5, May - June 1982.

Water Rachel Hadas

                           If seven maids with seven mops. . .

     Water the level of the soul and water
     the voice it finds. All voyages begin
     when time the maid armed with her suffering mop
     has swept the whole beach clean.

     And what led up to such a laundering?
     Beauty. Terror.
     Everything that came after
     rinsed the grit from the swirl of surf we stood in.

     The fineground sand reminded us
     of myriad bathings drained
     but for a residue under
     our arching toes, cold that slid slowly backward.

     Beach: voyage. On a lazy summer sea
     I float companioned by a silent mentor.
     We carve a channel between velvet green
...


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