Alas, Alice

ALAS, ALICE,

who woke to crows and woke up on the ceiling and hung
there fearing the evening’s sweeping and looked down now
at her unfinished reading and loved by sleeping and slept
by weeping and called out once. The words were dust. Who
left late singing and signed up leaving and ran home slowly
afraid of sleeping and hated thinking and thought by feeling
and called out once but no one came,

who dreamt blue snow and froze in dreaming and spoke by
reading and read all evening and read by patterns of bliz-
zards drifting and dared by waiting and waited taking and
called out once and called out twice and coughed grey clouds
and carved four coffins and took by thanking and thanked
by seeking and drifted bedwards and lay there weeping and
counted her tears and divided by seven and called out once.
The words were crows.

Michael Donaghy

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