Winter 2001 • Vol. XXIII No. 1 Poetry |

Cranes on the Seashore

For Thomas Lynch 1. Today, Tom, I followed the tractor ruts north          along     the edge of Damien's pasture. I missed all the   dung slicks but one. The calves did not judge me          or, comely     darlings, judged me benign. The ditches     and the token bits of barbed wire weren't, I like          to think,     intended to halt my trespass much more than they     did. The hedge-crowned chassis might have been one          of my father's     own. And then at the rise, Tom, the promised     North Atlantic, and I'm fixed. Salt cure for          rheum. Rock     cure for bureaucracy and blood-borne grudge.     The farmers on Orkney favored this time of year          for pillage. Took     to the sea just after the crops were in. Cleared             the mind. 2.          Me

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Linda Gregerson’s most recent book, Prodigal: New and Selected Poems, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2015. She is the Caroline Walker Bynum Distinguished University Professor of English at the University of Michigan.

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