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Vespertina Cognitio

                                    Natasha Trethewey


             —for my father

Pelicans glide overhead in threes,
             their shadows across the sand 
                       dark thoughts crossing the mind.

Beyond the fringe of coast, shrimpers
             hoist their nets, weighing the harvest
                       against the day’s losses. Light waning,

concentration is a lone gull 
             circling what’s thrown back. Debris
                       weights the trawl like stones.

All day, this dredging—beneath the tug
             of waves—rhythm of what goes out,
                       comes back, comes back, comes back.


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