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A Book Full of Pictures

 Father studied theology through the mail
And this was exam time.
Mother knitted.
I sat quietly with a book Full of pictures.
Night fell.
My hands grew cold touching the faces Of dead kings and queens.
There was a black raincoat in the upstairs bedroom Swaying from the ceiling, But what was it doing there? Mother's long needles made quick crosses.
They were black Like the inside of my head just then.
The pages I turned sounded like wings.
"The soul is a bird," he once said.
In my book full of pictures A battle raged: lances and swords Made a kind of wintry forest With my heart spiked and bleeding in its branches.

by Charles Simic
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