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"The Litany Of Disparagement" by Dick Allen appeared in The Atlantic in January of 1997:

I drove, but I didn't turn.
I spoke, but I didn't learn.
I warmed, but I didn't burn.
Pray for me now and then.

Cards held too close to my chest,
I loved the roads running west,
Old shoes and a leather vest.
Pray for me now and then.

I never reached my floodmark.
The dog is a distant bark.
The tunnel whirls in the dark.
Pray for me now and then.

The nurse bends low over me.
With hands and skeleton key,
She opens Death's mystery.
Pray for me now and then.

Pray, for the willows must shake.
Ripples must die in the lake.
I am the life I forsake.
Pray for me now and then.

(Image from Flickr user Bonnie Woodson)

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