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Exposure

by
 It is December in Wicklow:
Alders dripping, birches
Inheriting the last light,
The ash tree cold to look at.
A comet that was lost Should be visible at sunset, Those million tons of light Like a glimmer of haws and rose-hips, And I sometimes see a falling star.
If I could come on meteorite! Instead I walk through damp leaves, Husks, the spent flukes of autumn, Imagining a hero On some muddy compound, His gift like a slingstone Whirled for the desperate.
How did I end up like this? I often think of my friends' Beautiful prismatic counselling And the anvil brains of some who hate me As I sit weighing and weighing My responsible tristia.
For what? For the ear? For the people? For what is said behind-backs? Rain comes down through the alders, Its low conductive voices Mutter about let-downs and erosions And yet each drop recalls The diamond absolutes.
I am neither internee nor informer; An inner ?migr?, grown long-haired And thoughtful; a wood-kerne Escaped from the massacre, Taking protective colouring From bole and bark, feeling Every wind that blows; Who, blowing up these sparks For their meagre heat, have missed The once-in-a-lifetime portent, The comet's pulsing rose.

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