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The summer heartbeat of a field gone golden in its age:
The dry tremble of a breath, the sun sighing
Through the planet's skin of air, miles above our hands
And our sweat, and the words we kick dirt across.

I am not this connected, to feel black space
Pressing its cold god eye down through me,
But I am wearing my weight, this gravity
(A human feature), something we
Forget, or never knew was birthed by metal
And magnetism, and brilliant, anonymous formulae.

I am wearing your flesh, unearned, mask-like,
A medal sprung from your blood.
I am wearing your time, unraveled and resewn,
A glinting stretch of galaxy grown from you: your shadow
And shout, your bending back, your truth, your patient hands
And favorite verses, and same refrains, and small, heroic signatures.
Written in honor of my grandmother, Antha Vivian Manning (December 7, 1935 -- May 1, 2007).

I just found out today that this won me first prize in my university poetry contest. I'm grateful, but I wish I'd never been inspired to write it. No amount of recognition can replace her.
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Submitted on
April 17, 2008
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