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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Jericho

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      Jericho
Wind torn
  dusky warm evenings
  the sticky heat, oppressive

Jericho,
  the old Negro, sits whiskered,
  holds a scuffed, dog-bitten stick,
I have listened to his stories
  deep resonant tones
  almost sung,
His rain fast laughter
  river slow eyes
  he smiles,

“We were wild then
  we lived, burned
  like prairie fires,
Have you seen a prairie fire?
Have you touched its sky-full flames?”

He holds my eyes
  a moment,
  head tips back and laughs
- the wind

“Ha,  boy
  Live!”

Holds out his closed hand
  to give me something
  opens an empty palm,

Life is here
  and gone,
  live.

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