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This Morning

This morning from bed, I heard: Wild geese squawking in the green-gold reeds that hem Lough Gill - The wind, shrill and westering as it sheers the low hills and skims the riffling water - And in the distance, music: a slow air, the rare melancholy of a piper somewhere on the Sligo shore, and a singer's slow lament muted by the breeze. I opened my eyes. The barking birds were crows in the nearby park. The lough was the distant traffic rushing west up Route Two. The dry summer air carried the curtain out and in, a fitful breathing, accompanied by the rustling of the maple leaves. Three thousand miles from Ireland, crossed in a single night. Never has my own bed seemed so foreign. And my heart (or so the lyric might have gone) was like a small bird hesitating now, unsure which side of the water to settle down on.

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