In the opening poem, “The Old Poet, En Plein Air”

THE OLD POET, EN PLEIN AIR

The old poet, sitting on the park bench behind the

ice rink, scribbles things in his pocket notebook about

vultures and sacred groves. A younger man, weathered

by his years outdoors, comes and sits at the other end

of the bench.

“So, man,” he asks, “are you going back to the

shelter tonight?”

The poet pauses, appears uncertain.

“No. I don’t think so.”

“Yeah,” the younger man says, “things are getting

just too intense down there.”

“Yeah,” the old poet responds, but there

is a small, almost inaudible catch in his breath.

“Definitely.”

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