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Lit Instructor

 Day after day up there beating my wings
with all the softness truth requires
I feel them shrug whenever I pause:
they class my voice among tentative things,

And they credit fact, force, battering.
I dance my way toward the family of knowing, embracing stray error as a long-lost boy and bringing him home with my fluttering.
Every quick feather asserts a just claim; it bites like a saw into white pine.
I communicate right; but explain to the dean-- well, Right has a long and intricate name.
And the saying of it is a lonely thing.

by William Stafford
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