Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2016  Vol. 15 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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St. Winifred’s Well (2)

these beams that were living beams—
these arcs that were living arcs—
600 years ago—the forest of souls
discloses—as beneath a wind—
in the distance, lambs huddled
as they do now, in evil weather—
& some bear hatchet-marks
(according to the diary, “to take plaster”—
to be buried
in a green thing—in this grave
of slaughtered oak—the rain slakes
what it can no longer succor—
I sleep within the forest’s cist—
(& my feet, now oddly whole,
I who have not suffered
with a worker’s praise—
We are common in this way
tracing the glistening surface—
cast down into the body’s pure end
which is fire, & fire’s perfect dream—
wood’s oblate memory—the rings
with which the pagans
mark their earthly marriage vows—
at the heart the living bone—
(but Drink from me, if my Lord wills—  

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