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Odysseus

Last year’s decencies
Are the rags and reach-me-downs he’ll wear forever,
Knowing one day he’ll sober up inside them
Safe in wind and wife and limb,
Respected, of unimpeachable behaviour.

Meanwhile he goes forward
Magniloquently to himself; and, the fit on him,
Pushes his painful hobble to a dance,
Exposing in obscene wounds and dilapidation
The naked metre of the man.

His dog will die at sight of him,
His son want fool-proof, and his lady-wife
Deny his fingerprints; but he
With his talent for rehabilitation
Will be his own man soon, without ecstasy.

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