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J A N U A R Y   1 9 9 5

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"I HARDLY DREAM OF ANYONE WHO IS STILL ALIVE"

(for William Matthews)

by Peter Davison



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(For help, see a note about the audio.)

Also by Peter Davison:
You (2000)
Best Friend (2000)
These Days (2000)
Falling Water (1998)
No Escape (1997)
On Mount Timpanagos, 1935 (1997)
Like No Other (1997)
The Unfrocked Governess (1994)
The Passing of Thistle (1989)
The Obituary Writer (1974)
Gifts (1965)
The Winner (1958)

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Red Auerbach fumed into my sleep last night
at my late grandmother's Upper West Side apartment
along with John Berryman, each to argue the practice
of a delicate craft. John Paul II prepared pasta.
What a party! Night after night such visitations!
Execrable, some of them, betrayals that seem
centuries old. A shrink in a Land Rover,
pipe clenched in his teeth, glares out over
the heaped cadavers of a flock of sacrificed lambs;
a senator's sherry bottle tumbles out of his briefcase;
and, skittering from bush to bush, my father,
concealing filthied underwear behind his body,
stumbles his way to the shelter of the guesthouse.

Shame, this is your sting, these are your victims;
and all the years of striving to forget
cannot erase the presence of the dead,
every wrinkled face of which is mine.





Copyright © 1995 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; January 1995; I Hardly Dream of Anyone Who Is Still Alive; Volume 275, No. 1; page 90.

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