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Momentary

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I never glimpse her but she goes
Who had been basking in the sun,
Her links of chain mail one by one
Aglint with pewter, bronze and rose.

I never see her lying coiled
Atop the garden step, or under
A dark leaf, unless I blunder
And by some motion she is foiled.

Too late I notice as she passes
Zither of chromatic scale—
I only ever see her tail
Quicksilver into tall grasses.

I know her only by her flowing,
By her glamour disappearing
Into shadow as I’m nearing—
I only recognize her going.

Source: Poetry (February 2012)

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This poem originally appeared in the February 2012 issue of Poetry magazine

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Momentary

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