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Animal Caution

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Whenever I touch the cairn
marking the summit
of one of my parents,
touch the top stone,
an animal caution comes over me,
sinew and muscle like the brook’s,
a sudden shivering
green-brown flame.
Soon they will be constellations,
and I a small tower of stones.

Chase Twichell, "Animal Caution" from Dog Language (Copper Canyon Press, 2005). www.coppercanyonpress.org
Source: Dog Language (Copper Canyon Press, 2005)

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This poem originally appeared in the January 2005 issue of Poetry magazine

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Animal Caution

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