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The Hill

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On the crowded hill bordering the mill,
across the shallow stream, nearer than they seem,
they wait and will be waiting.

Rain. The small smilax is the same to the fly
as the big bush of lilacs exploding nearby.
The rain may be abating.

On the quiet hill beside the droning mill,
across the dirty stream, nearer than they seem,
they wait and will be waiting.

The glass-eyed cicada drones in the linden draped like a tent
above three polished stones. Aphids swarm at the scent
of the yellow petals.

A bird comes to prod a clump of wet fur.
The ferns idiotically nod when she takes it away with her.
Something somewhere settles.

On the crowded hill bordering the mill
is our best cemetery, pretty, but not very.
All are welcome here.

Sun finds a bare teak box on the tidy green plot.
It finds lichen-crusted blocks fringed with forget-me-not.
Angels preen everywhere.

On the crowded hill bordering the mill
is our best cemetery, pretty, but not very.
All are welcome here.

Source: Poetry (February 2010)

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This poem originally appeared in the February 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

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The Hill

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