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Marvin's Question

A poem.

September 10, 2009



Marvin's question

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Marvin slows in the alley, spots us
in the yard, and parks his truck to visit,
taking a chair in the dusk.

The swifts circling the chimney,
begin funneling to roost along
its rough inner bricks, pulling the light
with them, all soft twittering.

Looking up, past them, Marvin asks,
"When did you last hear a whippoorwill ...
a rain crow?

Charlie tells of that pre-dawn call,
the sound rare enough to wake him,
to wake me – "Listen!" he'd whispered.
And it came again... "Whippoorwill!"
"And the rain crow?" Marvin asks,
wistful, a boy again.
"When did you last hear one?"
In our silence, the swifts descend.
Sue Wunder

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