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Old tumbril rolling with me till I die,

Divided face I'm hung with, hindside-to,

How can a peace be drawn between us, who

Never see eye to eye?


Why, when it seems I speak straight from the heart

Most solemn thought, do you too have to speak,

Let out a horselaugh, whistle as I break

The news to Mother that I must depart?


Moon always waxing full, barrage balloon,

Vesuvius upside down, dual rump roast,

Cave of the Winds, my Mississippi coast,

Cyclops forever picking up and chucking stone,


Caboose, poor ass I'm saddled with from birth,

Without your act, the dirty deed I share,

How can the stuck-up spirit in me bear

Coming back down to earth?


X.J. Kennedy



From Cross Ties: Selected Poems (University of Georgia Press,
1985), copyright (c) 1985 by X. J. Kennedy. For permission to
reprint, transmit by internet, or for any other purpose, address
Curtis Brown Ltd., Ten Astor Place, New York, NY 10003.

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