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Clary

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Her cart like a dugout canoe.


Had been an oak trunk.


Cut young.      Fire-scoured.


What was bark what was heartwood :    P u r e   C h a r - H o l e


Adze-hacked and gouged.


Ever after (never not) wheeling hollow there behind her.


Up the hill toward Bennett Yard; down through Eight-Mile,
     the Narrows.


C o m e s   C l a r y   b y   h e r e   n o w


Body bent past bent.      Intent upon horizon and carry.


Her null eye long since gone isinglassy, opal.


—The potent (brimming, fluent) one looks brown.


C o u r s e s   C l a r y   s u r e   a s   b a y o u   t h r o u g h   h e r e  n o w


Bearing (and borne ahead by) hull and hold behind her.


Plies the dark.


Whole nights most nights along the overpass over Accabee.


C r o s s e s   C l a r y   b l e s s   h e r   b a r r o w   u p   t h e r e   n o w


Pausing and voweling there—   the place where the girl fell.


(                  )


Afterwhile passing.


Comes her cart like a whole-note held.

Source: Poetry (September 2008)

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This poem originally appeared in the September 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

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Clary

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