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South Wheelock

ISSUE:  Autumn 1980
On a clear Sunday morning
campers in blue uniforms
gather at the outdoor forest chapel.
The water of Lake Seymour shimmers below them.
Flies swarm.
The campers sing “Amazing Grace,”
secure in the knowledge that they will live
happily in the months of summer
until the coming of the kingdom,

until the arrival of that twilight
in which the owl of Minerva
will at last take flight
in the land of the absolute principle,

until the end of history.

We envy them.
We rent a house above a lake.

It rains,
and the letters written
in the dust of its windowpanes
tell us nothing more about our lives
than the trees felled by the lightning
in the forest behind the stable
or the mountain in the distance
that is the landscape’s visual center.

You paint this landscape,
and I fill a stainless steel bowl
with the blackberries
that grow in such profusion
behind the house. We stare at them in wonder.

We are outsiders.
We are excluded from the miracle.


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