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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 5, No. 1 March 26, 1942



That strange black stain upon the kitchen table,
with loping legs and indeterminate head,
first gave a meaning to the old Greek fable
and hid inside the wardrobe all night long.

He didn't know, of course, for all his striving
to discern dread's form beyond the night,
it was in fact his first-born sister driving
his fears through darkness far from school or home.

As he grew up and masked his childish terrors
he heard the others' voices close behind,
lest he should rest somewhere and miss the errors
he kneiv were his but didn't want to own.

And one would tell him always of the steady
spread of the blood-stain right across the floor,
and that it wouldn't stop till he was ready
to soil his hands and drag the corpse away.

But stronger was the uncertain joy that ever,
despite its causes, justified all pain
and held his hand to make quite sure he'd never
change or "accept the fact of being alone.