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Heather McHugh

Summer 2018

It’s time to go to bed.
Like it or lump it, my brother loved to say.
Far harder than embracing relatives

is treating them with the respect
of adequate remove, as relatives in some
adventure never close enough

to breed familiarity (for every
one of us is strange).
We err in having

too much time to bear, without
resorting to a zoom, descending
to a delve, or changing time markings

ourselves—then calling it a change in all
eternity. (The rate will always have a ticker in it,
and the speed of light an eye—we’re blind

to our own frames).

And equally we err in having
far too little time to leave
the instances unlumped.
Each errs (what’s more)
in her self-styling:
One in a million means

too many things.

Heather McHugh lives on the Olympic Peninsula. She taught at the University of Washington for thirty years, and continues to take students occasionally through the MFA program at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina.

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