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My clock has gone although the sun has yet to take the sky.

I thought I was the first to see the snow, but his old eyes

have marked it all before I catch him in his column of light:

a rolled up metal shutter-blind, a paper bale held tight

between his knees so he can bring his blade up through the twine,

and through his little sacrifice he frees the day's headlines:

its strikes and wars, the weather's big seize up, runs on the pound.

One final star still burns above my head without a sound

as I set off. The dark country I grew up in has gone.

Ten thousand unseen dawns will settle softly on this one.

But with the streets all hushed I take the papers on my round

into the gathering blue, wearing my luminous armband.

The Newsagent

Paul Farley

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