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   . .A poem a day
                                    21 August 1999


On the roadside, among the teasel, 
The fleabanes and spiderwort, 
Pushing up through debris -- 
Bindweeds and morning-glory, among 
Crushed aluminum and shards of glass -- 
Neighbor to the black ant, the 
Red ant, the mockingbird; 
Atop the ox-eye daisy 
Or beneath pokeweed and mallow; 
Among the chickweeds and 
Partner to the sun, all around these 
I am roving, I, young, yet a stranger to the 
Musty shadows of libraries, learn of 
An inexpressible love of ruined places. 
It is faded paper cups, sun painted oil on 
Asphalt, and even the stray tragedy of 
An animal corpse. Every human voice within me 
Speaks against it: These are weeds, this 
Is death, and the living death that bankrupts life. 
But the black-eyed-Susan, the dandelion, 
The bees, even the sunwarmed, radiant 
Asphalt have beguiled me into thinking 
Surely this, too, is heaven? 

- David Donlon