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This poem is taken from PN Review 200, Volume 37 Number 6, June - July 2011.

Four Poems Will Eaves
The Fight in the Lake

Unseen, unseeing when first I breathed this element,
I had some blood-inkling of what would come. I heard
the tabor by the treeless lake in my dam's heartbeat
and the monster's gargling of birth sorrow,
her cries for Grendel, butchered son.

Her shriek was mine.
I knew it from afar, the curdled yell,
deep issue of the mountain's wintry melt and thrashing mother-slime.
Some wordless vengeance brings me low as once I thrust into the world,
head bowed, hands curled, the mite born furiously aware of balances:
I grasp the rock-scoured, icy pans of keep and waste.

Fear stirs the silt. The miry depths grow grappling fronds,
the snake-coils hide Hrunting. Like silver roads at dusk, the sword's light fails.
It will not lift, though by its last gleam I see something rise
out of that wrack to which the fiery angel fell, a half-quenched shape.

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