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But for the thirteen letters

of his name and the chiseled

dates that a hyphen spans—

as if it were the only

vital bridge between

two chartless lands:

those vast oblivions

of before he was and after—

I might mistake this granite

for something winter heaved

carelessly into the thawed

New England light, a stepping-

stone in mud season, yet one

a farmer would nevertheless take

a shovel to, as would I

were it not so precisely set

flush with the green earth

and I could undo the mason’s marks.

from The Burning of TroyFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2006
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Poems Richard Foerster

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