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To Paul Gruchow

by Rodney Nelson




I had come in time to walk a fencerow

to a greenway too but you were home there


and both of us saw women make supper

in a summer kitchen and the drippings


the cattle and the chickens go away

and a farm as well but you were home there


so underwent the end of the olden

with a mind that could not take much fraying


because you were only a ward while I

was meant to know the unnamed pain in town


but you would find its root and name and put

them in writing until the late winter


the fabric of you wore through and you were

not there by the lake to keep you from you