There are worse things than having behaved foolishly in public.

There are worse things than these miniature betrayals,

committed or endured or suspected; there are worse things

than not being able to sleep for thinking about them.

It is 5 a.m. All the worse things come stalking in

and stand icily about the bed looking worse and worse

and worse.

From Selected Poems (Oxford University Press)

copyright Fleur Adcock

(New Zealand, Britain)


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