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Three Prologues for a Play Cycle Concerning Song

1. For a Play About the Early Life of John Brown

There was a revival of singing in Canton and our family became singers
    —John Brown

For a teacup lamb or a squirrel or for a mother.
A child weeps, but is not the world
weeping? Which is to say: A revival is
in the making, and will not the world be
suddenly song? As a boy raised by
the woods becomes the woods. Just as one
who’s known the switch will always know it.
And don’t you see? There’s a pattern forming.
A father who ranches and a son who herds.
A tempest God and his rascal proxy.
Think about it: Is not the world a straight line
or a tree? Is not this world, at all times, work?