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from West Wind, 3, by Mary Oliver

June 01, 1997

And the speck of my heart, in my shed of flesh

and bone, began to sing out, the way the sun

would sing if the sun could sing, if light had a

mouth and a tongue, if the sky had a throat, if

god wasn't just an idea but shoulders and a spine,

gathered from everywhere, even the most distant

planets, blazing up. Where am I? Even the rough

words come back to me now, quick as thistles. Who

made your tyrant's body, your thirst, your delving,

your gladness? Oh tiger, oh bone-breaker,

oh tree on fire! Get away from me. Come closer.

From "West Wind" by Mary Oliver. (Houghton Mifflin Co.: 63 pp., $21) Copyright 1997 Reprinted by permission.

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