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Repetition of Words and Weather

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Written by Ruth Stone

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A basket of dirty clothes
spills all day long
down the mountain
beating the rocks
with a horrible washer-woman's cry.
Now two riders go by horseback on the dirt road.
Young women talking of antique latches, blind to the dirty linen, smells of urine, bedsores, bowels of old women left on their backs, fat and lye, lies of doctoring men.
Strange weather mid-summer is summer spent.
I open a book of poems.
All lies on the psalter, I say, the dead are silent.
The riders come back chatting like birds.
What would I not give to return that way.
Their horses trot in a break of sunlight over the road.
And I think, what's done is done.
It won't be changed with words.


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