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Hosanna


ISSUE:  Spring 2008

“There is no loneliness like theirs.”
—James Wright

Nothing to hosanna,
you will be buried

Cold. Only the living
go on living.

Worship the wind-hover
while it’s a-wing,

Let scything talons
fret the meadow grass.

If you bear likeness
to the rough face

Staring up from a lake,
swallow grief, plunge

Your hands through,
grasp hematite

Lining soft silt
which like a father’s eyes

Beckons. Dredge. Repeat.
A man thinking on

His dead friend
will cast his dry flies

Only in shallow pools.
A boy, thinking the same,

Casts his deep.
The wind-soughed woods

And blue-hazed mountains
are a bruised prism—

Symbols of harm,
symbols of healing.

Do not, for a blessing,
cross barbed wire

Into pastures
where ponies graze.

No sugar can sweeten
their wildness now.

The question of loneliness
comes to this:

Whether you go on
watching swan-shapes bow

Under dry pines
to the encroaching dark

Or start back down
the untrafficked road.

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