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I think by now it is time for the second cutting.

      I imagine the field, the one above the last

house we rented, has lain in convalescence

     long enough. The hawk has taken back the air

above new grass, and the doe again can hide

     her young. I can tell you now I crossed

That field, weeks before the first pass of the blade,

     Through grass and briars, fog–the night itself

to my thighs, my skirt pulled up that high.

      I came to what had been our house and stood outside.

(Claudia Emerson, excerpt from Aftermath)

Today, I stood in the south pasture and looked back at the house,

as if it was another life I was seeing from the outside:

the gables, the stone facade, the windows, the aspen.

The palomino came to me there, and seemed of two worlds.

She crossed over the basalt outcroppings,

her hooves crushing the baby grass and buttercups,

like a bold spirit that moved between life and death

and made me wonder, for a moment, which I inhabited,

or what was real, the house, the horse, the wind, my body–

the words I searched for, to say how much I miss you.

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