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Among the Unawake poems from the Great Plains by Rodney Nelson

A m o n g   t h e   U n a w a k e

Cold reminding wind a southeaster and
river going the same direction were
all that seemed to enliven the park
beyond south the wrens had to have withdrawn
turning into an imagination
like what had left silt mud high under the
bridge that now lay dry and cracked there
oak leaves
racketed on a street-hard path of dirt
and caws went into the wind away to
rally at an owl
every prairie
thing with blood in it could move and might have
followed the wrens yet many had waited
on and some were out
sapient and non-
redigging ground for what they knew
it held
walking around a basswood tree
pecking at another
at work among
the unawake as light thinned in the twigs
and on the open river and all had
nest or den the warm of which would not have
contented them if they had not gone out
and blown home to it again


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