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a poem by
Julian Bernick
> bio

(Thoughts on a Line of T S Eliot)

"Rachel nee Rabinovitch,
Tears at the grapes with murderous paws"
Eliot, Sweeney Among the Nightingales

Rachel, nee Rabinovitch,
She is the teaspoon of my love,
Delicate as metal, round
Soft as a leather glove.

Rachel nee Rabinovitch,
Married me, a Catholic mutt,
With onion hands and dirty clothes
A fading clown with just one stunt.

Rachel nee Rabinovitch,
Tearing with her nails, her claws
Just like vermin -- is that what
You want us to think, gerontion?

I could cry, my singing-dad,
My tutor on the broken shore,
Where waves weave lightly in the sun,
My wife is not a whore.

In you, I hear the hiss of the gas,
The squeal of Jesus on the cross.
He wouldn't have suffered you, I think,
English tweed on a rude Cossack.


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