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Hope and Love

All winter
the blue heron
slept among the horses.
I do not know
the custom of herons,
do not know
if the solitary habit
is their way,
or if he listened 
for some missing one ---
not knowing even
that was what he did ---
in the blowing sounds
in the dark.
I know that 
hope is the hardest
love we carry.
He slept
with his long neck
folded, like a letter
put away.

        Jane Hirshfield (from Bright Wings)

Bob Fisher
Independence, MO
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