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The Old Ones.

The Old Ones

   In winter they hung in honey locust
   hidden among wrinkled pods, until
   spring opened their knuckles

   and they bee-lined to a sprouting cornfield
   where the slightest breeze set
   their ardent bird hearts humming.

   On humid afternoons grown heavy
   on tall stalks, they watched
   for a child who walked near, kicking

   loose gravel. They lured me inside
   with a lost kitten's cry. Further and further
   I wandered through leaves with rasp

   turned sweet as the cricket-chirping
   of bows and in a veil of dust
   I saw them, through blue dragonflies.

   When I left the dark field, rows
   closed behind me in a rush. I walked
   uphill toward a room where soup

   had grown cold. Since then, I have wondered
   if the flicker of lanterns was a dream
   by the curve of the brook. But I heard

   their killdeer cries the day the fencerow
   was cleared and corn pushed under cul-de-sacs
   named for what was never here.
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Author:Wagner, Shari
Publication:Christianity and Literature
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2010
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