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ralph waldo emerson walks across

the bare common, the distant edge of winter, cold,

a blue-gray twilight pallor caught in the fold

of blustery clouds pressing down, the mind at a loss

to find any special good fortune, thought, in the dross

of the day.  granulated snowflakes scour, hold

to the tips of fallow grasses and dry foliage rolled

in the wind:  a perfect exhilaration, gladness, close

on the brink of fear.  now reggie jackson strides in

from centerfield, a yankee, mr october,

the straw that stirs the drink, he knows how to win.

a tv sports guy asks:  you’re famous, rich,

but are you really happy?  serious, sober:

man, I don’t know about happy– but I’m one glad son of a bitch.


© philip kimball 2009

published in Coal City Review 26:  2009

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