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Dry Nights


That was the last poor rag of babyhood:

The way his bed stank like a fox's set;

That easy flow of innocence he could

Let fall from him while all his body slept.

We do him wrong to colonize his dreams!

Can we afford to lose that alienness,

Those strange, limestone-bright coasts, lands without names,

And brush away his wilds with a caress?

Lately he sat up in the barber's chair

Swathed like a businessman, and smiled with such

Clownish lopsidedness that I laughed there

In the saloon to see this Stan Laurel, much

Reduced, his face wide open, his cropped hair;

And afterwards could scarce forbear to touch.


Frederick Turner



From April Wind, 1991.  Reprinted by

permission of University Press of Virginia.



Graphics by
Cottage Row

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