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The grass is singing to itself again,a green field risingthrough the dirt-pad, blades like tonguesthat flare out through a mouth these months compacted,silenced, seeds dead-furledin icy crumb-pods, crusty loam.

The grass is green-gold, gladdeningin sun, these tonguesof flame that sing without a word,that stun with music:one clear note, pitched perfect, tinglingin the ear, this carolling of light.

It's me just singing in my bare red feethere standing in the springwithout a word, just humming in the grass,my light-bones brazeningin blast of music in the endless dawn,this music in the clearing

of a perfect-seeming dawn when nothingbut the sun, this grass, this singinglifts me up and lifts me overcompost of a billion dead black souls,the losses of those liveslived one two three, lived then back then

and yet now present in the air today:in light of everything they've said and doneploughed under, soaked, unsoiled,the long cold rains of April afternoons,the sorrows that have fertilized this soil,that soften it, give up, give over [End Page 108]

into such a singing I cannot believein anything but glad-gold sun inside the grass,that powers into lush-feltplush new song, which I've been strumming nowas if my one true task were chiming in:this selfless harping on what heals, what hums. [End Page 109]

Jay Parini

Jay Parini is a poet and novelist who teaches at Middlebury College in Vermont. His six volumes of poetry include, most recently, New and Collected Poems: 1975–2015. He has written biographies of Steinbeck, Frost, Faulkner and Gore Vidal. His novels include The Last Station and Benjamin's Crossing. He has also written a life of Jesus and The Way of Jesus: Living and Ethical and Spiritual Life (2018).

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