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Red bird on top of a dead pear tree kept singing three notes
and I sang back. Bird added a flourish (four notes) and I
tried that. Bird’s notes were on pitch mine not, we learned
this and tried a few more, bird had turned on its branch to
(perhaps) me and there being no exact way to end I bent and
took the paper and went in. It left me with a part open.
Little part. But I did not get at myself. A human always
wants to.

Lately at night I lie in the grian of things, that kind of night.
Or in midafternoon other rooms run past in ribbons, he was
a man who had known disappoitment. Things turn away.
The mad ones are sharper than we give them credit for.

We used to take him for drives. Unclear if he enjoyed this,
his dementia years. One time we got stranded somewhere in
bleak rain, ducked into a cafe bar in a cheap hotel. Ordered
coffee or soup, sat with our coats on because he never took
his off and it would look odd. then the coffees came and
him looking up suddenly bereft of saying Oh I thought it was a

– Anne Carson


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