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Among the Unawake poems from the Great Plains by Rodney Nelson

T w e n t y - S i x   N o v e m b e r

Emission of pipe chimney and stack
would be occluding what low sun
made it over the roofs downtown by
ten thirty
would be
not was
and ice
would have wrapped the very width of the
river and taken on more than one
snow to turn a barrier into
a crossing
would have
not had
no the
morning was cold but had light enough
and ice had grown only a foot or
so into the dark water with not
too many wreathlets of it moving
by and on the ground were wreathings of
fallen vegetation
not the kind
one would don in victory
have to
in mockery
the river would be
looking even darker with snow on
the margins of it
would be
not was


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