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Blackheath

The day the church pianist went missing,
the air became almost too thin
for breathing as if
he had taken it with him,
so that no one could sing.

Do not blame my sister,
who sleeps all day,
because she stills sings like a bird;

And we have resorted
to sign language,
if only to remember
what talking feels like.

The next week,
a woman who gave African violets
to dog walkers and business men for everything
that had gone missing,
planted them between two hemispheres.

But my sister had flown away
using folded newspaper headlines
dyed as purple as the flowers
that froze before the end of her song,
and who is to say I never listen?



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