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The Making of a Man
by Darlene Moore Berg

Mud scraped up out of the riverbank
mottled clay, streaks of brown, rust, tan
Squish this mess through your
beefy hands: roll, press, knead
pull out oddments, twigs, grass
and at last
with care
sculpt out a heart
fill a hollow shell
pinch closed the seams.
With the tip of an index finger
scoop a chunk of clay
from a proposed mouth
and with a sigh

And if need be
pick it up by the heels
this created form
thump the back
tickle the ribs, slap the soles
of modeled feet
until he squeals.

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