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To Hear and Hear by Chard deNiord

The hermit thrush is set for six

to sing her song, as if it were

the end of the world and she was stirred

by dusk to sing the same sweet song

again and again in the understory,

as  if to say, it’s neither words

nor meaning that matter in the end

but the quality of sound, as if we

were deafened by the sun and needed

her song as a key to unlock our ears,

to hear and hear and understand,

to see and see, knowing that this

one day is the end for now,

which it is, it is, she claims, with a song

just loud enough to pierce the woods

until the night descends like a thousand

veils, and then just one.


From Night Mowing, University of Pittsburgh Press

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