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          In Praise of Umberto Tapia
          By Dan Gerber
          I cup my hands around the last bright speck
          and blow gently to keep it alive, an ember
          of oak log, pared from a tree
          Umberto Tapia has rescued with his artful pruning,
          from stifling mistletoe and Spanish moss,
          and the unleavened abundance that
          drags it down, a life like my own
          from which too little has been let go.
          Now I see this coal
          as a fallen star,
          one bright thing in a field of night,
          curious about the darkness
          and the world kneeling down to it,
          using its breath to keep it glowing.

          This poem will appear in the author's new collection, A Primer on Parallel Lives, to be published by Copper Canyon Press in 2007

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Document last modified on: 12/09/2006

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