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Recess

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This is the sound of the bell. It rings,
full of brass and the end it brings:
once for the children, once for the child
who sits alone. His eyes hurt and mild,
he waits, holding his things.

Time should hold no meaning
for him yet. You don’t learn
how to play; you forget. But he knows a while
well, and longs for the clang of the bell.

A bell is a room of nothing.
No, a dome with a hidden swing — 
a will, a sway, a tone, a peal,
the beginning of song. The wild
crowd nears, passes, laughing.
Here is the sound of the bell.

Source: Poetry (April 2017)

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This poem originally appeared in the April 2017 issue of Poetry magazine

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Recess

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  • Maria Hummel is the author of the poetry collection House and Fire, winner of the 2013 APR/Honickman First Book Prize, and two novels: Motherland (Counterpoint, 2014) and Wilderness Run (St. Martin's, 2003). Her latest collection is Still Lives (Counterpoint Press, 2018). Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in Poetry, New England Review, Narrative, the Sun, the New York Times, and the centenary anthology The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine.

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