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This man, blind and honored,
listens to his student reader;
this man did what he thought

and sickens in jail; another
comes to the end of his work;
another threw himself out.

Us too, our destinies get on,
into middle age.

Today we visited a field of graves—
slaves’ or Indians’ graves, you said—
sunk, unmarked, green edges of hammered granite
sharp as a shoulder blade.
                                            God break me out
of this stiff life I’ve made.

Door in the Mountain: New & Collected Poems