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At Night in the Everglades

Oct. 3, 2010
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What pulled us out of the tent past midnight?
Perhaps the moon's absence called us out,
or the sky itself, empty of city light and full
of stars—as, camped on the chickee
with water surrounding us
on every side, we woke
to find the bay entirely still,
a glass, reflecting underfoot
even the littlest stars
of the clear sky overhead, so that we stood
in a world made entirely of stars
wheeling under our feet and above our heads,
naked, in the original world, and only a dolphin's fin
traced a wavery line across the Milky Way.

-from The Only Everglades in the World, (Parallel Press, 2001)

Robin Chapman, recipient of the 2010 Appalachia poetry prize, is author of six books
of poetry, most recently Abundance.  She co-edited the anthologies On Retirement
and Love Over 60.

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