Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, STALKING LEMURS, by KAREN SWENSON

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STALKING LEMURS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: 4 a.M., the moon down world is dark
Last Line: Into leaves and dawn.
Subject(s): Hunting; Indonesia; Hunters; Dutch East Indies

4 AM, the moon down world is dark
as the river's black volcanic bed
outside my bamboo door. A knock wakes me.
Fumbles of shoelaces, flashlight, clothes. I enter
the night escorted by the river's
invisible sibilants, track my guide's heels over
stumbles of roots with my flashlight's circle
until we must walk without it.

In the jungle's moist shroud, surrounded by bat
shrill gossiping we breathe the dark. A flick
of flashlight spots the copper-penny eyes;
spidery fingers clasp a branch.
Among trees hung with watchful gleams my guide
and I, compassed by our illumination, are
bound by family resemblances
to these hands and faces vanishing
into leaves and dawn.

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