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Genoways, Ted / Anna, washing
(2001)

Abe's caution to Anna,   p. 24


Page 24


Abe's Caution to Anna
There are no grub-stakes in heaven, no one
to hazard his pick-axe on a dead man.
Too late to bribe open the gate-wrought-iron,
not pearl like they said. Sweat earns you nothing,
just debts. The man with a deck names his game.
That my claims were empty only figures-
you're right-but, Anna, I know just the same
the sole men assured work are gravediggers
and thieves. So maybe you lie there tonight,
hating me for everything-short-lived days
of winter, your hands hard and cracked with lye-
but had you once-just once-seen a star blaze
from the night-hollow of your own gold-pan
you'd know why, come spring, I grubbed out again.
24


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