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from New England Primer
by Bruce Guernsey


The Letter X

Poor X,
never the treasure
only the spot,
the anonymous name
on some illiterate's will.

Could Xerxes play the xylophone?
the Z's got X's tongue,
and when it speaks in its own voice
your x
is on the phone.

In the assassin's scope,
the body made simple--
where your arms meet your legs,
the heart.
X,

oh thou swaddled, illegitimate child,
confess!
'twas you in the manger that Xmas.
And there, too, on Calvary,
the shadow of the crucifix.




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image by Victoria Woollen-Danner







Copyright Bruce Guernsey. All rights reserved.