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This poem is taken from PN Review 106, Volume 22 Number 2, November - December 1995.

Poems Stephen Tapscott


Mud
It is early in the history of the season of humid freshness, herbs, and mud.
I walk across the sod of the meadow, which is after rain a bitter sponge.

I am almost afraid to see how weighty I feel to the earth, which has suffered me this long time
and still supports, imprinted with corresponding scars.

Many things I have thought and felt I am not proud of and are best not talked about, disgracing the body:
not even with God, who knows them as acts, having witnessed,

and who does not after all demand to be told them as a condition of forgiveness.
Therefore I print them here, setting my feet carefully where my body touches

the softer body of the meadow - as if to make them more exact,
a condition of the dark receptive soil:

as if prayer were a specific longing, and the forgiveness I pray toward
would be a specific forgiveness and I will know it when it comes.




Daylilies in August
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