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Author: Barry Ballard
Location: Burleson, Texas

Barry Ballard's poetry has most recently appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Connecticut Review, Margie, and Puerto del Sol. His most recent collection is A Body Speaks Through Fence Lines (Pudding House, 2006).


We want to live that's all. An' so we've cut the rope ...
- Gerhart Hauptmann

Tight as a drum under a raft we protect
the psyche, hoping the river delivers
it from our meditation to some Utopia.
No need to remind ourselves of the going
in and out of hope snagged in reeds, or the insects
whispering with their wings, "There's much to discover
beneath the pale stones." There's rest in the idea
that Nature never makes a row, the glowing

knives of light never segregating the lost
navigator by color or belief.
No telling what feeds the rebirth from below
us; how many ascendancies and cast-off
declines, how many mud huts, cocooned wreaths
and vacant bodies feed the next embryo.

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