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whose name I don't know -- dark green,
tall, it too is blooming now --
greenish-white little fl owers
in closely set clusters like
clover-blossoms. -- Sacred ground,
as our life is not; and ground
inevitably profaned;
maybe inexhaustible,
too, in its way. -- Yesterday,
cutting into a seed pod,
prodding it with the knife point,
hunting for the small white seeds,
trying to fi nd some pattern,
I saw a small white spider
emerge from the packed cotton
and, while I watched, go racing
away across the table.
elegy: the old man
Edging between the truck
and the wall I work back
to the far end, past the concrete,
onto the original dirt --
triangles of broken glass
shine among the old straw;
I make out a hame-ring,
yellowed and fl y-specked; a mended
strap, cracked and with salt
from dried sweat still on it; high
on the wall, hung there
perhaps by my brother, to be visible
and out of the way,