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Prose extract from William Trevor's Story of Lucy Gault cut into a poem

Lucy Gault's mother mourns

'If the Kilauran fishermen are right
In what they believe,
There's nothing more.

If they are wrong, there is, for me,
A horror I do not want
To know.

If I am different
From all the mothers
In the world,

If they would creep
About the shingle and the pools
For ever seeking a thread

Of ribbon they may remember,
Then I am different.
If I am unnatural, and weak

And full of a fear
I do not understand,
Then I am unnatural.

But I can only say
That in my merciless regret
I could not bear to look

Down and see
My child's fleshless bones
And know too much.'

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