Ellen Bryant Voigt

(1943 - / Virginia)

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Practice

To weep unbidden, to wake at night in order to weep,
to wait for the whisker on the face
of the clock to twitch again,
moving the dumb day forward—
is this merely practice?
Some believe in heaven, some in rest.
We'll float, you said. Afterward we'll float
between two worlds— five bronze beetles
stacked like spoons in one peony blossom,

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