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I used to sit in your bandied chair

Savoring the gloom of the White Horse,

Smelling the wharfish afternoon sun

And the corpulent spoor of poets.

Your perch was seductively muggy, frowsed,

Redolant of brown-bred stout:

Youth was edgy, the razor's mark

Hesitant along the faults.

Other songs and danksome thickets

Demanded their tithe of talents

(Evasion, delusion, creation, collusion),

Yet they brought us here again.

Somewhere Catlin, light in the hearth,

The vision still solid, the step less so;

Nightjars measure the meadowlark's barrow

And the dreams are of dreaming and waking.

For us, it's sleep to a steaming pot

Of Demarara and Earl Grey.

Odd, you know: I was long to learn

Graceful stumbling on time's high step.

Tip up the chair,

Belie the ghosts:

Morning soon enough.

There are poets unborn

To make peons of

When the angry sun returns.

- David W. Mitchell

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