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With a Friend at Bennington

by Robert Bly

He wakes, reads some Frost, and soon is ready
To leave. “See you tomorrow.” A long line
Of feeling follows him out the door. His shoulders
Slope as usual in their way, carrying on them

Deaths and stories, a divorce, marital love
As pertinacious as a bulldog’s mouth. Jane gone,
Who will hear the thin cough in the morning,
Hear the milk hitting the pail as his grandfather

Sings poems in the old barn, who will see
The forty drafts on yellow paper? Or notice him
Reading Francis Parkman till long after midnight.
“Stay, friend, be with us, tell me what happened.”


Robert Bly’s new book is The Sibling Society. (1996)

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