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THE RED HEART
IV The Ivory Steeple

James Reaney

 

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The Death of the Poetess


Her collected works
Published at last
Alas just before.
Here are the 32
Little white grave-stones
Engraved on both sides
With epitaphs.
She was a spire that dreams
In a rocking-chair
Or a spire laid sideways
On a sofa.
A spire that sipped tea,
A soft pink spire.
In her illness
Books fell from her bed
Like heavy marble leaves
(As they fall in Vallombrosa)
From a marble tree.
Now the clock that is her heart
Tick-tocks itself to stop.
Beside her corpse
Lies the Collected Edition
32
Thin gravestones.