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In a Walled Garden
There are street noises. Church bells overhead
Reassure me. With things as normal as they seem,
I cannot believe what is now being said.

Officials have warned against being misled
Into outdated loyalties, to beware of extreme
Threats in our streets to church bells overhead.

People have disappeared. Officials say they’ve fled –
Clear evidence of a plot against the regime.
It’s hard to believe what I sometimes hear said.

At night there are sirens filling the air with dread,
Then urgent steps, warnings. Sometimes a scream
Muffled by street noise, church bells overhead.

Outside my wall’s barred window, sullen as lead,
The river crawls by, inexorably. Downstream,
The sewers overflow with what’s being said.

But here there is calm, order. A wall, a hedge,
Shelter me. In the sunlight, I can sit and dream
Of ordinary street noise, church bells overhead.
I must not begin to believe what’s being said.