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This poem is taken from PN Review 113, Volume 23 Number 3, January - February 1997.

Having Read Up on the Subject Jane Holland


this is a straight-forward choice between
understanding and misunderstanding.
Not just for me, watching the thin line of the road
snake off into the distance under a sky
that could have been purple a minute ago

but is reaching a dull red as it sinks into shadow,
but for these also, letting the thin line of the print
take off into the distance under a sky
that has expunged every last drop of light now
like a wiped-down blackboard

at the end of a curiously long classroom.
But what does it matter how much it weighs
unless this is a barter-system, so that
each word like each tall strand of wheat
is exchanged for lunch under a hot sun, a grape-hung
...


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