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From "Vespers: Contemporary American Poems of Religion and Spirituality," edited by Virgil Suarez and Ryan G. Van Cleave (University of Iowa Press: 160 pp., $39.95)

September 21, 2003|Leonard Nathan

The cello never made it, lost

to us by chance or choice somewhere

between here and there.

We, meanwhile, waited, fiddled

with our instruments, then finally nodded

and began to play without him.

What a strange music -- three parts


one silent, heard only

in the absence of another.

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