Fall 1986 • Vol. VIII No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 1986 |

Shadows

Ash-white mists of morningswill soon turn dark against the heat.Peace. The earth-odor is a burdenwhich one cannot lay downbecause there is no one to pick it up again.This longing for darkness,resenting its need that holds,like a frightened hare seeking the refuge of the woods.Yet the beating of the heartmakes one impatient, one becomesa little child who is hurt not only by a word,but even by a short pause of indecision.Shadows soon will reach overand stroke the skin under the eyes.And opportunities are hampered by the hour,by fate. Warm dust rises. Even in sleepto recognize defeat, to let the armsdo their useless tasks they have been doing,to refuse to lie to one's heart and call it peace.

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Author of sixteen collections of poetry, Jayanta Mahapatra’s latest volume is titled Bare Face. He has read his poetry around the world and is widely anthologized. He edits the literary periodical Chandrabhaga. His recent work has appeared in the Sewanee Review.

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