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I crossed the causeway, late December, cold
In the clear sun that lit the whole island,
And washed in wind from sea and highland,
Gave in to gales. I saw that I could hold
No more than open dry walls, knee high, rolled
And blasted by the sky, then left to stand
As sketches of a heavy, thick-thumbed hand
Against the turf. For nineteen years I shoaled
In riptides, crossing currents complicated
By competing parent floods to fetch up here,
Pickpocketed, neaped, penniless. I waited.
A gust flowed through my hair, my closed eyes sheared
Over the stone of the Venerable Bede
Who set all dates from one, AD, done deed.

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

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