Strong Verse
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Poetry By
  Bethany Powell

Published on: 6/28/2012

There is something dark back there.
It's the most hidden shrine, on a neat square of land
All filled up with holy stones and walks for tourists,
Where the bellrope is grimy but never too old
And all the gardens are open-faced.

This is not like that.
Back in the wood that rambles a little wild
Where there's a shortcut to the smaller bridge,
Just a footworn path and a crowding of trees--
Maybe it is the most ancient.

Maybe it is the most fresh, a newly built throne;
You can nearly hear the slow breath of it
Where at other steps to the screened tabernacles
The only breath is your own, your neighbor's, the _bouzus_.
It is for sure the smallest.

So you see how close you can walk by without hearing it,
You think of asking a classmate if they know why it is there,
And you wonder just who goes to offer those fresh sugarcakes
At the shrine arms-length deep and wide, on a little rise of land
The most secret place, and the prettiest, and most dread.

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