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Nursery Rhyme

by Joshua Weiner


Once stood a field of wheat before the rain,
a field of secrets too, and fence knocked down.
Outside the house there is an inside room.

The window cracked for fear that it would change;
the window disappeared (and that was strange).
The window stayed the same and that was change.

Who ate the wheat and burned the fields to black?
The secret bird flew North and can’t fly back.
The song inside an ear once filled an emptiness.

That was before the secret bird flew back.
How do we know the secret bird flew back?
The window stayed the same and that was change.

Rain, sleep, and rain is filling up the cup.
A fence of wheat stands still, and still won’t stop.
Its breath inside your ear spills from an emptiness.

The opened window calls the children in;
the children fly to kiss their secret friend.
Outside the house there is an inside room.

 

Joshua Weiner is the writing coordinator at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he held a fellowship in 1994. His poems and essays have appeared in Best American Poetry, TriQuarterly, The American Scholar, The Nation, Harvard Review, Boston Review, and other journals. (1998)


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