restricted access Love Poem
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for Amanda

The dry vine from a kind of weedwhose yield is pods is being flungout senselessly by the wind, and a scrapof the vine at that, the part still curledaround the cedar branch, its host,with a kite-tail hanging down,and one of the pods is open likea heart on a paper Valentinefrom school I used to get and usedto make by folding the paper in halfand turning it around the scissors,mostly for friendship, or to dowhat everybody else would do,but the hearts I made were always off.This one, fluttering from the vinethat's fastened to the branch of the tree,was full of seeds that floated awayin the fall, then winter happened to it.And there it is, just hanging there,as if someone tied it to the branchand the vine had no decision in it. [End Page 24]

Maurice Manning

Maurice Manning's most recent poetry collections are One Man's Dark and The Gone and the Going Away. A former Guggenheim fellow, Manning has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and is a member of The Fellowship of Southern Writers. He teaches at Transylvania University and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

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