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My Little Peace

My Little Peace

A little Japanese statue on my desk is reputed to guard the world of the dead. Is it something to be feared or loved?

She always puts it away when she comes—

my little piece of dark peace.

Pumice, I suppose, or perhaps they painted him that way.

He is a suggestion, this statue of mine,

the mere size of my arthritic thumb.

A figure behind a greyed shroud

pushing out.

These thin hillocks; crossed-arms,

these bony bumps; eyes and nose,

these protrusions—


She has chipped one.

I am convinced it was a deliberate carelessness—

whilst she cleared away his matte black body

that sucks the light,

his look of shadow and quiet night.

His cold empty sleep that is my delight.

She knows in her deepest heart what he is

what he wants.

So in the sticking drawer he’s sent,

next to the lifeless bulb and over-stretched paper clips.

Those shouldn’t-need things

offences to bright life.

I always take him out again when she goes—

to gaze at my little piece of dark peace.

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