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The Grave

Now comes the darkest, longest night of all,
the first night in the grave. The new-made mound
is hill beneath a tent-sky, the world a click
of stone on stone heard breathless underground.
Dawn: the tent comes down. Footfalls faintly
heard, as if the ear were to the ground.
Now nights are moments when a cloud drifts past
the sun, days earth-cracks on the mound.
Summers bake, autumns brown and burn,
winters break and crumble, split the ground.
In distant silent springs cloud shadows fly,
earth-cracks creep across the settled mound.
Cloud-shadows fly, cracks creep across the mound,
till shadows fly, cracks creep on level ground.

From Copperhead Cane, 1964 © & Dialogue With A Dead Man, 1974 ©

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