THE FROGMORE POETRY PRIZE 2004

 
Michael Swan
IF YOU DON'T LOOK
 

Outside the window
there is a field
with a lady dressed in silk,
a servant holding a jewelled cup,
spring flowers and rabbits,
and a unicorn;
if you don't look.

Outside
a special train
is making an unscheduled stop
on its way to Istanbul;
generals from both sides
are holding a secret meeting.

There is someone outside
that you saw at a party, once
and never spoke to,
and were sorry afterwards.

Out there
crowds
are acclaiming a new leader
with trumpets and drums.
Hot-dog sellers
are doing a brisk trade
on the pavements,
where the deposed ministers
hang from lampposts.

Under your window
there are four ducks
waddling in a row,
and a little girl
who is waddling too,
and trying to quack.

If you don't look.

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