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Day 3: Kyrie (poems) by Ellen Bryant

I am cheating a bit. Yesterday I missed my deadline of midnight by one minute! Today, I am re-reading the poem cycle that launched my M.F.A. thesis and finished my B.A. thesis. As a note Chewbacca's ate part of the cover--(my 20.5 yr old cat).

"Kyrie" is placed during the influence pandemic of 1918 and is a continuous thread of story. The first poem presented, I've found the most haunting and my most beloved.


After the first year weeds and scrub;

after five, juniper and birch,

alders filling in the briars;

ten more years, the birches crowded out,

a new world swarms on the floor of the hardwood forest.

And who can tell us where there was orchard,

where a swing, where the smokehouse stood?

How timely can one get? There is phlegm and fever...things I am afraid of now. I have not decided if it is salt or balm that the forest will creep over where I've been and my footsteps will be lost into stratigraphy.

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