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Jeffrey Paparoa Holman

Memoir II


Preparing for death is a wicker basket.
Elderly women know the road.


One grandmother worked in munitions, brown
bonnet, red stripe rampant. The other, a washerwoman:
letters from the Front would surface, tattered.


You must take the journey, ready or not.
The old, old stream of refugees:  prams
of books and carts with parrots.


Meanwhile the speeches, speeches: interminable.
When the blood in your ears has time to dry:  silence.


The angel will tie a golden ribbon to the basket’s rim.
You will disappear, then reappear, quite weightless.




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