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At the Reading on the Hill That Night Overlooking Colorado Springs
—for Marie Howe, former poet laureate of New York
by Marcel Aime Duclos

The coal train caterpillars south,
her segmented belly full.
The coal not long enough compressed
into ice-black diamond light.

The coal train soon crawls out of sight,
thousand wheel-feet inching past.
Up on the hill the poet reads
her soul story, .

A golden eagle split the clouds.
Poet, sunset glowing, splits
my inattention. I vision
all that shrouds the treasured gems:

the hardpan soil, deep darkness damp,
crushed abundance we ignore
when poet sheds black diamond light,
reading on the hill that night.


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