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Reading American

ISSUE:  Summer 1994
                    history on the lawn,
all morning long—
the forecast called for showers, then,
throughout the afternoon, gusty
wind. Yet already
half-past one, the sun
remains its amber autumn self,
my laundry’s drying on the line
in this
yellow brilliance of leaves
that rustle, sometimes
detach from the hackberry trees
overhead. In such clarity
of sky, distance is
only the relation
among things, the trees’ graceful
gesture from here
to here, as,
high above, geese follow
the inevitable direction south.

What respite, what a gift, as if
I’ve lived forever on these plains,
as if a hundred other
comforts, lies, were true.


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