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The Creation
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was going well. A perfect, rosy sow, a finch, an elephant. Then a giraffe at the last minute, springing up like Wow, an exclamation point on legs. A gaffe, or maybe not. Her fringy eyelashes. Her voice, a bleat soft as a low laugh, a yard-long tongue that blackly licks leaf caches from the sky. She nuzzles her newborn calf still wet, eyes shut, legs splayed and sliding, the two of them improbable riffraff of the imagination, hang gliding off the cliff of reason.

  Oh giraffes, wear your head lamps, gather around, remind me, when all seems dark and sane, of mystery. [End Page 557]

Jeanne Murray Walker

Jeanne Murray Walker has numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, eight Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowships, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. The Geography of Memory: A Pilgrimage through Alzheimer’s was just published, and Word Farm Press will bring out her new and selected poems in 2014.

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