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This poem is taken from PN Review 235, Volume 43 Number 5, May - June 2017.

‘Chameleon’ & Other Poems Ian Pople
Ravenna

There would be a place for repetition
on the collar and the cuffs, patterns

in the lace work. The shoulder is turned
towards you, the button-through just

visible, with its impacted threads. It is
a preparation for arrival, a message

that is shared, which asks also, prays
even, for support, like a belt tightening

across my chest, my stubby fingers
pushing under it. Those apprehensions

of the past have cast a shadow; water
drips from the blade of the oar, the stroke

of the blade on the surface, each purling circle
where the river retreats from the oarsman.


Chameleon
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