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In the Park

 You have forty-nine days between
death and rebirth if you're a Buddhist.
Even the smallest soul could swim the English Channel in that time or climb, like a ten-month-old child, every step of the Washington Monument to travel across, up, down, over or through --you won't know till you get there which to do.
He laid on me for a few seconds said Roscoe Black, who lived to tell about his skirmish with a grizzly bear in Glacier Park.
He laid on me not doing anything.
I could feel his heart beating against my heart.
Never mind lie and lay, the whole world confuses them.
For Roscoe Black you might say all forty-nine days flew by.
I was raised on the Old Testament.
In it God talks to Moses, Noah, Samuel, and they answer.
People confer with angels.
Certain animals converse with humans.
It's a simple world, full of crossovers.
Heaven's an airy Somewhere, and God has a nasty temper when provoked, but if there's a Hell, little is made of it.
No longtailed Devil, no eternal fire, and no choosing what to come back as.
When the grizzly bear appears, he lies/lays down on atheist and zealot.
In the pitch-dark each of us waits for him in Glacier Park.

Poem by Maxine Kumin
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Book: Shattered Sighs