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This poem is taken from PN Review 20, Volume 7 Number 6, July - August 1981.

Plaza Mayor, Madrid, 1972 Francis Boylan

   I.
Hand in hand they came, hand in hand
An old couple hobbling towards a seat
Among the pillars of a square
Built by men who understood the heat.

Hand in hand they came, hand in hand
My hand turns verses on a table
While I tune to the inner voice of the square-
Thunder in the dust makes our dust ineffable.

   II.
Death without a death it was, not death the stranger.
Lord of the living and lord of the earth
Dear death, if we had their eyes to say!
Why then the smallest human action, a breath

Or a blink, the soul that lights a look or gesture,
The conversation of women on a bus,
Such breath would take our deaths away
If we could see and say what they saw in dust.

Death became destruction. The devil in Eve was Easter
Inverted, the liar whose liars pray
...


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