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Mule Song

 Silver will lie where she lies
sun-out, whatever turning the world does,
longeared in her ashen, earless,
floating world:
indifferent to sores and greengage colic,
where oats need not
come to,
bleached by crystals of her trembling time:
beyond all brunt of seasons, blind
forever to all blinds,
inhabited by
brooks still she may wraith over broken
fields after winter
or roll in the rye-green fields:
old mule, no defense but a mule’s against
disease, large-ribbed,
flat-toothed, sold to a stranger, shot by a
stranger’s hand,
not my hand she nuzzled the seasoning-salt from.

by A R Ammons
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