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In Praise of Umberto Tapia
By Dan Gerber
I cup my hands around the last bright speck
and blow gently to keep it alive, an ember
of oak log, pared from a tree
Umberto Tapia has rescued with his artful pruning,
from stifling mistletoe and Spanish moss,
and the unleavened abundance that
drags it down, a life like my own
from which too little has been let go.
Now I see this coal
as a fallen star,
one bright thing in a field of night,
curious about the darkness
and the world kneeling down to it,
using its breath to keep it glowing.
This poem will appear in the author's new collection, A Primer on Parallel Lives, to be published by Copper Canyon Press in 2007
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Document last modified on: 12/09/2006