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Since my sister left,
an impossible emptiness

She loved songs
so I’d built her a room

The notes of the songs left in the room
will clamour now and cry
and hurt us off and on

The boy she’s gone away with . . .
gone away for all time, – it’s not easy to take
though I know it’s the custom

As she loved the silk cotton tree
she never lied to the river

And her sorrows began that very day
she took the boat downstream