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A merciless night here for the trees.
At dawn: stripped bushes,
————————–strewn branches.
Surveying the scatter for the unbroken,
I come up with crows.
It’s random on the face of it, this ruthlessness,
——————————————this rampage—
like most of the world’s violence, much of its love.
Still, after long safety, who can resist
———————————a good dies irae
imperious, and
fierce enough to leave the chosen battered
and shining as gold foil:

I only alone am escaped to tell thee.

To tell the truth,
I cowered all night beneath the covers,
counting in the darkness
——————crack after crack of
the struck quick on my lawn.
——it’s a world scoured of the weak,
a spaciousness
wrenched from the heavens, and,
———————–up and down my street,
a debris of uprootings too large
for anything but awe:

Must I change my life?

Crows, stripped of pomp, roam this day
through a roomier sky,
—————–their caws dubious,
truncated, raw—
Washed clean against their will,
———————-they glitter blue-black
in the aftermath,
loom larger in their ruffled skins,
congregate, preen….
—————–Still alive, they scream
into the glare
of the horizontal sun.

Escaped to tell thee, I’m struck dumb.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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