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The Three Fates
Rosemary Dobson

At the instant of drowning he invoked the three sisters.
It was a mistake, an aberration, to cry out for
life everlasting.

He came up like a cork and back to the river-bank,
put on his clothes in reverse order,
returned to the house.

He suffered the enormous agonies of passion
writing poems from the end backwards,
brushing away tears that had not yet fallen.

Loving her wildly as the day regressed towards morning
he watched her wringing in the garden, growing younger,
barefoot, straw-hatted.

And when she was gone and the house and the swing and daylight
there was an instant's pause before it began all over,
the reel unrolling towards the river.

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