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Before you were I loved you
and when you were born
and when you took your first step
Although I did not know
good luck I want to say

lone penguin keep sturdily waddling
in the direction of those frozen mountains sister
of desolate sanctity
I want to scream
Although I did not know you

I loved you later on
as just a weedy thing
a little skeleton I loved
Both long pre-you a child myself
and as a man in retrospect

I loved and I was there
while they were raping you
I loved although
like God
that’s all that I could do—

Source: Poetry (December 2009)

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This poem originally appeared in the December 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

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