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Maureen N. McLane

years/ catches for robert duncan

The century has barely rung
its cold clear notes of morning, has scarcely flashed
its signs across the neoned globe and desert space
when every tower swaying in the air broadcasts
a beautiful menace. The northern birds have heard
the ice crack and seep in the Arctic and elsewhere
a hand is upraised even now to strike. The sharp
slap the gunner’s blast the houses smashed
by tanks ingenious engineers designed, the smelters
and welders long had their work cut out. Lilies
slowly unfurl their ahistorical petals while olives
and grapes look for harvest and women cry
as they push their children forth. Old gods speak
in script and what they say brushes the desert red.

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