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Eighty-eight at Midnight


A black calf bleats

at shrivelled teats.

Incessant heat

withers the wheat

and wilts the silking corn.

Too few, too late

the spotty showers

mock my stunted flowers.

Too late I shrink from debt.

Like a spitted calf I turn

over a bed of coals

while the pastures burn.


Timothy Murphy



From The Deed of Gift, Story Line

Press, 1998.  Reprinted by

permission of the author and
Story Line Press, Ashland,

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