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In the Tidal Marsh

Through the tidal marsh a stream

meanders, and on its sides, and the

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mud flats nearby, boats lie - discarded

boats at all angles, abandoned,

paint peeling, boards cracked

and rotting, like ideas I used to have

but have now forgotten, thinking

of a new range of things.

Near them, by contrast,

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a black-necked stilt pads

across the mud on his outsized legs,

each feather in place, and near him

an American avocet tests the mud

with the sharp tip of his long beak,

also neat, also operative,

his thin voice reedlike, tremulous.