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The Sudden Light And The Trees Analysis

Author: Poetry of Stephen Dunn Type: Poetry Views: 105

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Stephen Dunn -- New and Selected Poems 1974 - 1994My neighbor was a biker, a pusher, a dog

and wife beater.

In bad dreams I killed himand once, in the consequential light of day,

I called the Humane Society

about Blue, his dog. They took her awayand I readied myself, a baseball bat

inside my door.

That night I hear his wife screamand I couldn't help it, that pathetic

relief; her again, not me.

It would be years before I'd understandwhy victims cling and forgive. I plugged in

the Sleep-Sound and it crashed

like the ocean all the way to sleep.One afternoon I found him

on the stoop,

a pistol in his hand, waiting,he said, for me. A sparrow had gotten in

to our common basement.

Could he have permissionto shoot it? The bullets, he explained,

might go through the floor.

I said I'd catch it, wait, give mea few minutes and, clear-eyed, brilliantly

afraid, I trapped it

with a pillow. I remember how it feltwhen I got my hand, and how it burst

that hand open

when I took it outside, a strengththat must have come out of hopelessness

and the sudden light

and the trees. And I rememberthe way he slapped the gun against

his open palm,

kept slapping it, and wouldn't speak.


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