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Peter Jay Shippy

Signs and Wonders


To the uninitiated, it looks

Like a tar stain on a telephone pole.

Y ou shoulder your way

Through the crowd of believers

And try not to feel their keen

Faces. You try not to judge.

If they see the Virgin Mary

Or Jesus Christ or Hart Crane, well

Good for them, right? I mean

Who are they hurting? Then again

Couldn’t this oomph, this

Gusto for signs and wonders

Be applied to the hardscrabble?

Couldn’t they volunteer

At a soup kitchen or adopt

A blind dog? On the other hand

Maybe they do do-good. You don’t.

Right? So who are you to lecture?

It looks like snow. Your back aches

Just thinking about shoveling, again.

March, lion, lamb, bah.

The sun looks like a blood orange.

When you break free of the host

You look back, one last time—

Yeah—that’s Hart Crane. No doubt.

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