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D E C E M B E R   1 9 9 5

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PROGRESS REPORT

by George Mills


One day my dog
went down a road
I couldn't take.
He's still famous.

I had a ball,
it rolled out of sight.
I ran after it
into adulthood.

I learned to believe
the right lies
and sign myself
with unreadable flourishes.

Now a hammock
sags just right
between a willow
and an oak.

White clouds pass
like rich men
with saints
in their pockets.

Or is it the other way
around? I forget.
Rich men and saints
are hard to tell apart.

White clouds
out over the ocean,
my deathbed
sways in the wind.


Copyright © 1995 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; December 1995; "Progress Report"; Volume 276, No. 6; page 104.

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