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Audio: Read by the author. 


Is it or is it not                    a distant thud
the children hear, while burrowed in their rooms;
it gathers far away, like boots on mud
or rapid-falling fruit.       The orchard blooms, 

and strangers tend, in wooded plots (or tombs),
blue nightshade, to the bitter end of gene. 

The children cannot really hear        or glean 
what turns their supple energies to cold
regress. Theirs is so young, so small a scene.
Outside,         the world grows older, oldest, old. 




Sofia Starnes, former poet laureate of Virginia, is the author of six collections, most recently The Consequence of Moonlight (Paraclete). She is also a literary translator and the editor of three anthologies. Her website is 

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