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Walking The Marshland

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Written by Stephen Dunn

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 It was no place for the faithless,
so I felt a little odd
walking the marshland with my daughters,

Canada geese all around and the blue 
herons just standing there;
safe, and the abundance of swans.
The girls liked saying the words, gosling, egret, whooping crane, and they liked when I agreed.
The casinos were a few miles to the east.
I liked saying craps and croupier and sometimes I wanted to be lost in those bright windowless ruins.
It was April, the gnats and black flies weren't out yet.
The mosquitoes hadn't risen from their stagnant pools to trouble paradise and to give us the great right to complain.
I loved these girls.
The world beyond Brigantine awaited their beauty and beauty is what others want to own.
I'd keep that to myself.
The obvious was so sufficient just then.
Sandpiper.
Red-wing Blackbird.
"Yes," I said.
But already we were near the end.
Praise refuge, I thought.
Praise whatever you can.


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