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This article is taken from PN Review 218, Volume 40 Number 6, July - August 2014.

‘The Waves’ and Other Poems Mimi Khalvati
Reading the Saturday Guardian

A yellow ladybird is reading the Guardian Weekend,
alternately reading and grooming, rubbing her hands,

slapping the sides of her face. To do so, she tilts back
on her tail, rearing up as if into a magnifying mirror.

For the time being, she’s entirely forgotten about flight –
the ridgy terrain of a brown paper bag, a valley dotted

with croissant lakes, is only a ten-minute hike away.  
Of course she isn’t yellow yellow – more goldenrod

with many black spots, a black and white harlequin head.
I present her with a flake. Momentarily, she looks baffled,

rears again and, in the one instant I look away, disappears.
Next thing I know the ladybird and (croissant) flake –

twice her size – have toppled over the rim of the Guardian,
one on top of the other – a perfect landing, ladybird on flake

like man in boat, then, capsizing out of sight, she sails
over the edge of the table, the table travelling to Portslade.


Parked cars are sleeping like animals in their baskets.
Sally, Bea’s corn snake, coils by her rock and the mollies

who know neither night nor day keep swimming round
and round behind glass. Lucky the brain awash with sleep

flushing its toxins out. However, according to my mother,
so groggy in the mornings, ...

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