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Portrait of the Artist as a Lone Tree


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The day I ran away

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How I chased after you -
so sure that everything you said was true;
outraged to think your word might be ignored -
and went to edges no one else would know.
Men I would never see turned back from death,
and, living, sang your name.

But I am just a man,
outworn by thoughts of being all alone;
left at the edge no others want to know.
Sing songs, sad tang of sea beneath my feet -
for you remember well the very day -
the day I ran away.

All earth is under sky,
and sky is touching sea to deeps unknown;
distance is vision where the wind has blown.
Rail waves, gleam sea, and hurl against this hill
all that the power of nature ever will
I cannot get away.

And yes you know the years -
you twenty thousand saints still buried here.
They chased the sound of seagulls in your ears,
travelling backwards into childhood fears.
How many yet remember on a day -
the day you ran away?

Contents Page 151About

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