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East Then West

I thought I saw you in the soil: crazing rubs
of vetch. The kindled hunch of tickseed. Black-eyed Susan
staring east then west,
madcap, alive as an almanac.

Maybe memory's the same as metaphor.
The molting bird inside your chest I can't forget
or stop listening for. Fretting into thickets, it goes perhaps, perhaps.
Maybe memory's a silver failure of recreation.

I pivot in the big space between us. I pivot
and fret beneath the sun
which lights both sides of the earth equally
on average.

Splay of bluestem, bottlebrush,
cordgrass. It's tough for me to say
how these sunshot greens,
arrows of wax and light,
become this place, my home. From here
I reach to tell you I believe they do.

Nick Harp

Michigan Quarterly Review

Summer 2017

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