This Land is No-Man’s Land

a clarinetist crossing
the country by bus

gives his instrument
the window seat

locked in its case
dreaming of a sea of reeds

old ice dull as the eye
of a dead turtle

yellow stumps of alders
carved by yellow teeth

where waterlogged oaks
grow skirts of moss

and a thorn forest reclaims
an abandoned pasture

a school bus has graduated
it sports a satellite dish

encircled by the sighs
of half-dead pines

the musician’s fingers
grow restless on his lap

caught in the clarinet’s
clear net

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