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S E P T E M B E R   1 9 9 9

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by Robert Morgan

audioear picture Hear Robert Morgan read this poem (in RealAudio).

(For help, see a note about the audio.)

Also by Robert Morgan:
The Grain of Sound (1999)
Girdling (1997)
Option (1997)

Go to:
An Audible Anthology
Poetry Pages

The air around a waterfall
is thrilling. Gusts and downdrafts prowl
from out of mist, and rainbow air
will seem to pour right off the roar.
But take one step and feel the breeze
reverse and veer away in craze
of air around the plunge, perform
a theater of tumbling foam
in knots, a hundred whips and currents,
as tons of milk and spray condense
in atmospheres pushed down that must
escape across the bottom forced
to circulate as eddies, spin
of backwash, pocket, conflagration.
And as above a witch's cauldron
the air goes wild and darts, is torn
by fits and swoops of jubilation,
then whispers, barks, in Pentecost
and song, of families long lost
from far upstream and still stirred up
by heavy tongue from river's lip.

Robert Morgan is a professor of English at Cornell University. His novel Gap Creek will be published this fall.

Copyright © 1999 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; September 1999; Wind From a Waterfall; Volume 284, No. 3; page 76.

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