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Slowly, Then in a Hurry

Of course you're tired of what we're all tired of:
outrage and confusion, the future
coming to an end, and tired also
of feeling how little it matters to feel this way.
So, yes, go out into the woods,

where everything will appear
more sympathetic—the barely opened
blue and yellow violets, the trilling of birds,
scurryings in the underbrush of small animals
who may be afraid because you're too close.

Then the sun dazzles you into submission,
its radiance reminding you
of that white light those near death have said
beckoned and comforted them until
they woke, but wished to stay. So you leave

the woods feeling no better, worried again
about the hopelessness of worry, and even
the clothes you're wearing, that scarf, for example,
as if its still-vivid colors might single you out
from the others on the street where now

you may be standing, wondering if the man
walking toward you could have you alone
in mind. Yes, this might be death,
if this is what death looks like. Like anybody
coming your way, slowly, then in a hurry.

Lawrence Raab

The Life Beside This One
Tupelo Press

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