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Albuquerque, New Mexico 1954

On Easter Sunday when I was nine,
I was ready for church
before the others and I went out
to the side yard, still in shade,
where the purple iris bloomed.
Beyond the wire fence,
the sun shone on the apple orchard
in the next yard: old, knobbly little trees
with few leaves, in the fall, fewer apples.
I loved those trees with a fierce love,
and that day, gazing at them,
I was filled with light and lightness,
I was shining, floating,
who knew which; for once
the real thing, pure, unmixed
with sorrow or guilt or fear:
happiness.

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