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The Nation -- Amid a conflicting report
a nuthatch fetches a black fly,
dips its plume in stagnant pool.
This is a sky drawn, grafted,
rescued, not a bath of vapors an afternoon
shutters with counterfeit meaning.
It is just an incident within
a field of possibility, something periodic
and bruised, one location
in which we grip that instant of contact.
Upstream a scarecrow is ragged
in the wounding, a music of terror
barely rises above the slopes,
reft with nothing
but its melody's radius,
the slow ancient call of the bird
in the distant flicker.

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