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PAR T Buckdancer's Choice So I would hear out those lungs, The air split into nine levels, Some gift oftongues ofthe whistler In the invalid's bed: my mother, Warbling all day to herself The thousand variations ofone song; It is called Buckdancer's Choice. For years, they have all been dying Out, the classic buck-and-wing men Oftraveling minstrel shows; With them also an old woman Was dying ofbreathless angina, Yet still found breath enough To whistle up in my head A sight like a one-man band, Freed black, with cymbals at heel, An ex-slave who thrivingly danced To the ring ofhis own clashing light Through the thousand variations ofone song All day to my mother's prone music, The invalid's warbler's note, While I crept close to the wall Sock-footed, to hear the sounds alter, Her tongue like a mockingbird's break Buckdancer's Choice / 201 TWO ...

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