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Oak.

 not to board the bus but wait for the last bell like those who
live in town shuffling ahead of her the clumps drift apart drift back
shifting boys in a cluster now a boy and a girl a dance a recess game as
each is subtracted one by one into the houses she passes the windows
half-lidded by half-drawn shades or framed by curtains and sash she
likes
 walking along the verge of the lawns no fence no field the leaves
drifting out from under the oaks while in the woods they would only
settle and rot she likes the way a passing car releases them across the
grid of the sidewalk a solid math for a solitary girl the small steps
into the larger world of strangers wholly indifferent houses cars
rust-colored dog she passes the hardware grocery pharmacy beauty salon
every Thursday you've noticed such a child content to be invisible
scuffing the leaves toward the cottage off the street its hushed
backroom
where someone is propped in the high oak bed her webbed face pillowed by
its soft halo of hair past humankind and all our suffering past seeing
now past death too old for death and waiting for this girl
                          who thumbs the latch who lifts the lid of the
black box lifts from red felt the silver pieces fits them together the
trick is to breathe across not down into the small round hole her arched
fingers hover over the other open holes each finger knows its task
she's fixed to one purpose Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee
dark out in the street the wind ruffling oak leaves the dark window lit
by the silver flute the white ghost hair the brighter lights is it her
mother come to drive her home 
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:ten poems
Author:Voigt, Ellen Bryant
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Article Type:Poem
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2011
Words:332
Previous Article:Noble Dog.
Next Article:Spring.
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