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the old man fi nds himself
wearing a sportshirt,
the barn is carrying
in its inner fl ank a stack
of grease-gun cartridges.
The barn still holds the smell
of harness leather, and manure,
and feed and the like -- faint,
dry, distant, the fragrance
persists like the manner
of an earlier day in the speech
of the old man.
My sons may never know
how satisfactory a place
a barn is to take a leak in,
and this is a barn, since you can still
do so, in the brown half-light,
the comfortable seclusion
-- as for the dead in here,
I think of them long since busy
at burying their own, as I make my way
back out, toward the day-glare.
the summer
The birds keep to their routines.
The big cottonwood glitters.
In the approaching heat
of the middle of the day
the elm makes little movements
now and then, like a dozing horse.