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   Jacket 34 — October 2007        link Jacket 34 Contents page        link Jacket Homepage

Elizabeth Smither

This piece is about 1 printed page long.
It is copyright © Elizabeth Smither and Jacket magazine 2007.
Elizabeth Smither’s latest collection of poems, The Year of Adverbs,
has just been published by Auckland University Press.

Practising scales

for Joe

Over and over, up and down
the length of a street
adding a sharp or a flat
looking at the personality of keys
as if they were houses, bare
or with ornate small gardens
sombre or joyous doors.

The examiner, when the day arrives,
will look for fluency, rhythm
like the rhythm of walking steps
up and down the mysterious street
sometimes open and hospitable
sometimes secret, behind dark hedges
the half-moon pane over the door.

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