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Another Song

 Words go on travelling from voice 
to voice while the phones are still 
and the wires hum in the cold.
Now and then dark winter birds settle slowly on the crossbars, where huddled they caw out their loneliness.
Except for them the March world is white and barely alive.
The train to Providence moans somewhere near the end of town, and the churning of metal on metal from so many miles away is only a high thin note trilling the frozen air.
Years ago I lived not far from here, grown to fat and austerity, a man who came closely shaven to breakfast and ate in silence and left punctually, alone, for work.
So it was I saw it all and turned away to where snow fell into snow and the wind spoke in the incomprehensible syllable of wind, and I could be anyone: a man whose life lay open before him, a book with no ending, a widow bearing white carnations at dusk to a hillside graveyard turned to blank rubble, a cinder floating down to earth and blinking slowly out, too small to mean a thing, too tired to even sigh.
If life comes back, as we are told it does, each time one step closer to the edge of truth, then I am ready for the dawn that calls a sullen boy from sleep rubbing his eyes on a white window and knowing none of it can last the day.

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