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O C T O B E R   1 9 6 1

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by Maxine Kumin

Hear Maxine Kumin read this poem (in RealAudio):

RA 28.8, RA 14.4

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Also by Maxine Kumin:
The Word (1994)
The Nuns of Childhood: Two Views (1992)
Continuum: A Love Poem (1980)
January 25th (1965)

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Hens have their gravel; gravel sticks
The way it should stick, in the craw.
And stone on stone is tooth
For grinding raw.

And grinding raw, I learn from this
To fill my crop the way I should.
I put down pudding stone
And find it good.

I find it good to line my gut
With tidy octagons of grit.
No loophole and no chink
Make vents in it.

And in it vents no slime or sludge;
No losses sluice, no terrors slough.
God, give me appetite
for stone enough.

Maxine Kumin won a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for her collection of poems Up Country. Her most recent volumes are Connecting the Dots (1996) and Selected Poems: 1960-1990 (1997).

Copyright © 1961 by Maxine Kumin. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; October 1961; Grace; Volume 208, No. 4; page 104.

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