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The Coney Analysis

Author: poem of Paul Muldoon Type: poem Views: 6

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Although I have never learned to mow

I suddenly found myself half-way through

last year's pea-sticks

and cauliflower stalks

in our half-acre of garden.

My father had always left the whetstone

safely wrapped

in his old, tweed cap

and balanced on one particular plank

beside the septic tank.

This past winter he had been too ill

to work. The scythe would dull

so much more quickly in my hands

than his, and was so often honed,

that while the blade

grew less and less a blade

the whetstone had entirely disappeared

and a lop-eared

coney was now curled inside the cap.

He whistled to me through the gap

in his front teeth;

'I was wondering, chief,

if you happen to know the name

of the cauliflowers in your cold-frame

that you still hope to dibble

in this unenviable

bit of ground?'

'They would be All the Year Round.'

'I guessed as much'; with that he swaggered

along the diving-board

and jumped. The moment he hit the water

he lost his tattered


to the swimming pool's pack of dogs.

'Come in'; this flayed

coney would parade

and pirouette like honey on a spoon:

'Come on in; Paddy Muldoon.'

And although I have never learned to swim

I would willingly have followed him.

Anonymous submission.


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