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Prehistoric

An image of children playing at a creek

"In the poem, I set the vast scale of geological epochs against the quick movement of children. The poem encompasses both measures of time and holds them in suspension."

The kids pause beside a bluffto touch its bands of sediment—soft silt of an inland seaor vast lagoon, now thin and roughas deckle edges of a book,epochs compressed to signaturescockled with faults and folds—and wonder which pertain to us.Were any people here back then?Before the answer comes, they boltand race each other down the trailthrough a ravine of moss and lichento splash across a shallow creek,still of an age that has no end. From the poet:  This poem is from Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois, a hilly region full of hoodoos, bluffs, and canyons. On the exposed rock, strata sometimes look like sewn sections of an old book, perhaps a “book of ages” lying shut, too heavy to open. In the poem, I set the vast scale of geological epochs against the quick movement of children. The poem encompasses both measures of time and holds them in suspension. …

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Poetry

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