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Appalled, yet flexy as a marionette

remoulded far from children and from men

it tries itself before its own star chamber –

recoils in stammers.  Cannot answer, she.

‘In mounds of rainy violets no aid hides’:

court of itself-condemned admits no plea

of how she tried so hard, or what the petals saw

from their quite harmless rosette of leaves.





 

 

 

[Denise Riley's books include War in the Nursery [1983]; ‘Am I that Name?’ [1988]; The Words of Selves [2000]; Denise Riley: Selected Poems [2000]; The Force of Language, with Jean-Jacques Lecercle [2004]; Impersonal Passion [2005], Time Lived, Without Its Flow [2012] and Say Something Back [2016].]

 
Copyright © 2017 by Denise Riley, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.



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