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Rising in Firenze

Insistent buoy in fog,

the campanile rings.

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I wake. Along a line

of ancient bricks

arching over me,

I count time as if

I could subtract the guilt

from the gong, make its song

a clock, but a clock

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bongs out there too,

and after seven -ongs fade

in the hills of baffling

cypresses, the church bell

still drives the pid-pid-pid

of joggers up our hill

as I stretch and yawn

by the pigeon-clucking sill.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society