Friday, December 5, 2008

Paul Muldoon: Turtles

[from his most recent book, Horse Latitudes.]

Paul Muldoon

A cubit-wide turtle acting the bin lid
by the side of the canal
conjures those Belfast nights I lay awake, putting in a bid
for the police channel
as lid-bangers gave the whereabouts
of armoured cars and petrol-bombers lit one flare
after another. So many of those former sentries and scouts
have now taken up the lyre
I can’t be sure of what is and what is not.
The water, for example, has the look of tin.
Nor am I certain, given their ability to smell the rot
once the rot sets in,
that turtles have not been enlisted by some police forces
to help them recover corpses.

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