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Little Exercise

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Written by Elizabeth Bishop

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 Think of the storm roaming the sky uneasily
like a dog looking for a place to sleep in,
listen to it growling.
Think how they must look now, the mangrove keys lying out there unresponsive to the lightning in dark, coarse-fibred families, where occasionally a heron may undo his head, shake up his feathers, make an uncertain comment when the surrounding water shines.
Think of the boulevard and the little palm trees all stuck in rows, suddenly revealed as fistfuls of limp fish-skeletons.
It is raining there.
The boulevard and its broken sidewalks with weeds in every crack, are relieved to be wet, the sea to be freshened.
Now the storm goes away again in a series of small, badly lit battle-scenes, each in "Another part of the field.
" Think of someone sleeping in the bottom of a row-boat tied to a mangrove root or the pile of a bridge; think of him as uninjured, barely disturbed.


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