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Old Try

Life.



LIFE

By E. B. White

At eight of a hot morning, the cicada speaks his first
piece. He says of the world: heat. At eleven of the same day,
still singing, he has not changed his note but enlarged his
theme. He says of the morning: love. In the sultry middle of the
afternoon, when the sadness of love and of heat has shaken him,
his symphonic soul goes into the great movement and he says:
death. But the thing...

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Eastern Morning.



Easter Morning

by Jim Harrison

On Easter morning all over America
the peasants are frying potatoes in bacon grease.

We're not supposed to have "peasants"
but there are tens of millions of them
frying potatoes on Easter morning,
cheap and delicious with catsup.

If Jesus were here this morning he might
be eating fried potatoes with my friend
who has a '51 Dodge and a '72 Pontiac.

When his kids ask why they...

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Night Hunting.



Night Hunting

By John Casteen

Because we wanted things the way they were
in our minds’ black eyes we waited. The beaver
raising ripples in a vee behind his head
the thing we wanted. A weed is what might grow
where you don’t want it; a dahlia could be a weed,
or love, or other notions. The heart can’t choose
to find itself enchanted; the hand can’t choose
to change the shape of water. How strange, to hope
to...

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Listen.




LISTEN

By Charles Simic

Everything about you,
my life, is both
make-believe and real.
We are like a couple
working the night shift
in a bomb factory.

Come quietly, one says
to the other
as he takes her by the hand
and leads her
to a rooftop
overlooking the city.

At this hour, if one listens
long and hard,
one can hear a fire engine
in the distance,
but not the cries for help,

just the silence
growing deeper
at the...

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A Journey.


A Journey

By Edward Field

When he got up that morning everything was different:
He enjoyed the bright spring day
But he did not realize it exactly, he just enjoyed it.
And walking down the street to the railroad station
Past magnolia trees with dying flowers like old socks
It was a long time since he had breathed so simply.
Tears filled his eyes and it felt good
But he held them back
Because men didn't...

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Lost.




Lost

By David Wagoner 

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
and you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to...

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What I Learned From My Mother.



What I Learned From My Mother

By Julia Kasdorf

I learned from my mother how to love
the living, to have plenty of vases on hand
in case you have to rush to the hospital
with peonies cut from the lawn, black ants
still stuck to the buds. I learned to save jars
large enough to hold fruit salad for a whole
grieving household, to cube home-canned pears
and peaches, to slice through maroon grape skins
and flick...

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The Snow is Deep on the Ground



The Snow is Deep on the Ground


By Kenneth Patchen 

The snow is deep on the ground. 
Always the light falls
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd. 
This is a good world.
The war has failed.
God shall not forget us.
Who made the snow waits where love is. 
Only a few go mad.
The sky moves in its whiteness
Like the withered hand of an old king. 
God shall not forget us.
Who made the sky knows of our love. 
The snow...

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Dawn Revisited





Dawn Revisited

By Rita Dove

Imagine you wake up
with a second chance: The blue jay
hawks his pretty wares
and the oak still stands, spreading
glorious shade. If you don't look back,

the future never happens.
How good to rise in sunlight,
in the prodigal smell of biscuits-
eggs and sausage on the grill.
The whole sky is yours

to write on, blown open
to a blank page. Come on,
Shake a leg! You'll never know
who's...

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