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You looked a shard: sun-shrunken, back bent,

hips crook after the century you paced to tame

three kids. And what of your shaman electrical hair

– telegraph, phone - never came close to its weird

precision: daughters married to foreign bodies

is what it all came down to, and a son too wet

to notice. Oh dear, that's OK, fade, lie-down. There

were no helpers, there was no dim switch.  As if

you were a scarab, or a safety pin nick, as if you

hadn't blown a blizzard over the runways or dazed

the town with blackouts.  And how about the coats

we wore, all suitcase-creased, the black scarves covering

our faces?  Do you think we were turning blue with

penitence, or chill?  Do you think we thought

it would be as simple as forgetting to pay the bill?