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Conceit

1
Water-
falling leaves. A silver birch
         stirs. And the child
         inside me.
Dressed for another
century, I bend to caress
         this river: it absorbs
         me. Going
after the half-known I
swallow
          my shadow.

2
The suicide’s apologetic
smile, her lover
         a literary device, a relative
         clause in the complex sentence of
her will, his intent
eyes clear as the watercourse
         that washed her clean
         away, a withered leaf.

1983, South Karori Road, Wellington

 


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