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ISSUE:  Autumn 2000

A gift the world has given me so that I can, this morning,
work on this poem—no you to criticize me, to poke fun
at the length of the line, or the poverty of the image;
only another one, like me, somewhere in the future, poring

over the small print here, and saying, “Nobody knows me
too!” Well have our laugh later, together in the park, clothes
normal, not even stylishly threadbare, hair short but not
shaved. Even in our unknownness we will be anonymous,

no one knowing us as The Unknown People. Mothers who hold
innocent children don’t fear us on the street, old women in
black cotton don’t cross themselves as we pass. Back home
wooden stairs cry with the weight of our lives, stomachs call out

namelessly, for the next scrap of food and knowledge.


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