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Field Glasses

ISSUE:  Summer 1997

          refrain n. LME.”(O) Fr. refrain,
prob.f. Prov.refranh bird’s

Though birdsong shelters in the word refrain,
that stallion, several mares and pair of foals
the water meadows utter, stand in rain.

And noisy geese lift wings, black-tipped, to stain
the sky above the reeds. The wind unrolls
as their song shelters in the word refrain.

I know that loss has nothing left to gain
today from me. I’m made of parts and holes,
personified as standing water in the rain.

And still the afternoon’s grey circle drains
ditchwater into oily flame. The cold’s
outside and in, despite the word refrain.

Six curios the ocean once contained,
half drowned, half swam across the shoals
then jumped the meadows in the water, climbed the rain

to turn to me their dark regard. Darkly sane,
a dream the world invents of time unfolds
inside a waterdrop. The word refrain’s
from Provengal, which spoke in birds and rain.


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