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Not to Be Dwelled On

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Self-interest cropped up even there,
the day I hoisted three instead of the
two called-for
spades of loam onto
the coffin of my friend.

Why shovel more than anybody else?
What did I think I'd prove? More love
(mud in her eye)? More will to work
(her father what, a shirker?) Christ,
I'd give an arm or leg
to get that spoonful back.

She cannot die again;
and I do nothing but relive.

Source: Poetry (November 2007)

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2007 issue of Poetry magazine

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Not to Be Dwelled On

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