Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WUPATKI, by KAREN SWENSON



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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WUPATKI, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When a people abandon their town
Last Line: And the small bones of a family.
Subject(s): Abandonment; Legacies; Moving & Movers; Desertion


When a people abandon their town
they take their names with them
but leave their dead behind.
Coming after, we
exhume both site and dead
but may only rename their rooms.

Adults they buried outside their walls,
children beneath the floors
to be underfoot all day
in talk between loom and metate.
At night they lay down with the dead
on the other side of the blanket of earth.

All the rooms we have ever built
finally hold no more
than these bereft of all inhabitants but
a purple quilting of wild aster
and the small bones of a family.





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