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10

when I got there, when I came down

from the ship, one of them was playing a harp

and I’d never seen that, never seen someone really

play a harp, so when I asked who played the harp

they said it was just someone’s wife,

that if I liked how she played the harp

I could swap the whole world for her,

and I considered that, I rummaged

in my pocket and then remembered, the flim

floating away, how it was proper jarg anyway,

so there was only copper and bits of chipped at gold,

chipped off silver and later, when I tried to listen to the sea,

stood by the sea and really listened, there was only

a harp even though the strings were still,

even though the strings had been still for hours,

even though her hands had been still for hours,

and half of its sound was like language, like words,

like someone taunting me for having this longing,

this leftover longing, lingering and just listen,

in all these years I’ve found nothing

like this longing in those waves, in their tossing

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About michaeleganpoetry

Liverpool based poet and editor. I have had four pamphlets of poetry published, most recently After Stikklestad (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, 2010). Penned in the Margins published my first collection, Steak & Stations, in 2010.

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