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The Hastily Assembled Angel at the Gate

The hastily assembled angel sits
Behind the gate and doesn't watch the gate
He watches     the expressions on the fac-
es of the archers posted on the gate
But only one     archer and only when
He glances     at the archer next to him
Nervously the young     archer turns his head
To glance at the older archer middle-aged
Who only looks ahead the     hastily
Assembled angel wonders who it was
Who said In the midst of life we are in death
He has heard many songs and that was one
Although he has heard none of those songs sung
Only recited     quickly as he was
Shoved off the cloud     more quickly than a human
Mind could comprehend recited as
Ten thousand other things were shouted     all at
Once by ten thousand other angels all
Of whom heard music he will never hear
He hears a     scream and he is back at the gate
Behind the gate and     what had he been doing
He wonders     as he sees a young man falling
He stands and folds his folding metal chair

Shane McCrae

Michigan Quarterly Review

Spring 2018

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