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This poem is taken from PN Review 21, Volume 8 Number 1, September - October 1981.

Two Poems Robert Stuart

My child who touches leaves
touches childishly but with restraint-
I see her body fill to womanhood.

I catch her now and then,
then maybe just her fingers in the buds,
now maybe opening a flower.

How soon she has grown,
grown and the lush ferns surround her,
the mould-flush ooze about her feet.

Here a wet foot-print on a stone,
there and there through the undergrowth
her frock coloured in leaf-pack and thistle.

And it is autumn,
in a rush of grass and scattered light,
from this deep pool the eels are leaving.

And your body softened to this dross-

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