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When you were a child,
you were a tomboy
and your mother laughed at the serious way
that you looked at her
and from your window at night
there were the stars’ little fires
and the armory lights

You were tracing the lines
of a globe with your fingers:
cool rivers, white wastes
desert shores, and the forest green
and a limitless life
in the breath of each tide
and each bright mountain, rising

but now the boys are away,
and such kicks they are having;
slashing away at the forest walls,
with their bitter knives.
Sparks bloom in their eyes,
and they never look tired.
Will they never look tired?

On cliffs that tower from the rising seas
their bonfire glow
where a tiger lies
and, cleaning their weapons,
they laugh at his useless
claws, and all:
it is a beautiful night
to be born to this life
and grind his every bone to powder!

Do you remember
Do you remember

She carried you down to the edge
of the dark river and said:
Though the water is wide,
you will never grow tired
You are bound to your life
like a mother and child.
You will cling to your life
like a suckering vine
and like the rest of our kind
you will increase
and increase
past all of our dreaming

Horse without rider
lungs without breathing
day without light
song without singing
a song-


from Rook: Live at Florence Gould Hall, released September 17, 2016



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