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Not Born Again

Text of Poem

This land partly from me,
given back all the years
of my slow death where I
discarded skin after skin,
layers of growth sloughed off
to make earth sloughed off
to make earth, I shed myself here.

Here fingernails I pared,
there an old jacket in shreds,
a rubber boot left in a tile ditch,
a notebook on calving time
dissolving in manure, a straw hat
blown off in a field, and everywhere
drops of sweat, pee beside the
corner post—all part of me
going back to make land and grow
whatever will grow. Immortality?
Who said Immortality?
Nothing like me in the morning glory bell,
thistles resemble nothing in me,
foxtail and smartweeds sport no features
of mine—my crops? They grow
the way I plant them.
Something of me goes back to earth
in a stream of ashes burned
from my life until I blow away
like a dried leaf yet with no features
for a wild rose to copy.

First Line
This land partly from me,
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Yankee Magazine (March 1977) 116.
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Twitter Quote
Who said Immortality?