Poem introduction

A while ago I read an account in a newspaper about newly born twins.

Newly Born Twins

In separate incubators, one was dying. 
Against doctor's orders, a nurse put them together.

The Strong twin, the one with nothing
pulling her back, she slung
her newly born arm over
the one who was wanting to leave,
and stabilised her heartbeat, made everything
regular in the body of the one who'd already
had enough.

The strong one, she will think
she is God, that she can pull back
life from where it was going.
It will be harder for her
than from the one who already knows
about separation, loneliness, where
they can make you want to go.


From Intimates (Jonathan Cape, 2005), © Helen Farish 2005, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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Helen Farish

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1Look at These

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2Auto Reply

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3Feathered Coyote

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4Under the Bridge

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5Mount Mirtagh and Back

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6In the Church of St. Joseph Prague

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7Treasures

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8Surgery

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9The Accident

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10Mesoplodon Pacificus

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11Blindfold

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12The Old King's Garden

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13The Lighthouse of Nauset

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14Picnic Spots

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15Brathay

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16Slater Bridge

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17Custodian

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18Allington Cross

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19The Lorton Valley

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20To Whiteside

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21Odyssey

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22Plum Island

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23Kit

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24Rue des Lions

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25What Held Us There

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26Programme

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27Coffin Path Poem

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2824th June 1955

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29Newly Born Twins

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30Recording

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31China Dogs

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32July

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33The White Gate

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34Manicure

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35Airing

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36My Father's Dressing Gown

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37‘Grant Us Time to Read and Ponder'

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38Outside the Baker's

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39Resurrection

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40Dad's Barn

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41Posting

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42Appellation

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