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Rip

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Written by James Wright

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 It can't be the passing of time that casts
That white shadow across the waters
Just offshore.
I shiver a little, with the evening.
I turn down the steep path to find What's left of the river gold.
I whistle a dog lazily, and lazily A bird whistles me.
Close by a big river, I am alive in my own country, I am home again.
Yes: I lived here, and here, and my name, That I carved young, with a girl's, is healed over, now, And lies sleeping beneath the inward sky Of a tree's skin, close to the quick.
It's best to keep still.
But: There goes that bird that whistled me down here To the river a moment ago.
Who is he? A little white barn owl from Hudson's Bay, Flown out of his range here, and, if he wants to, He can be the body that casts That white shadow across the waters Just offshore.


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