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The Minotaur

 The mahogany table-top you smashed
Had been the broad plank top
Of my mother's heirloom sideboard-
Mapped with the scars of my whole life.
That came under the hammer.
That high stool you swung that day Demented by my being Twenty minutes late for baby-minding.
'Marvellous!' I shouted, 'Go on, Smash it into kindling.
That's the stuff you're keeping out of your poems!' And later, considered and calmer, 'Get that shoulder under your stanzas And we'll be away.
' Deep in the cave of your ear The goblin snapped his fingers.
So what had I given him? The bloody end of the skein That unravelled your marriage, Left your children echoing Like tunnels in a labyrinth.
Left your mother a dead-end, Brought you to the horned, bellowing Grave of your risen father And your own corpse in it.

by Ted Hughes
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