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A Comfortable Retirement

Retired now, he’s half St. Francis
every season of the year, putting out

sunflower seed and safflower seed
for bickering cardinals and jays,

niger seed for the goldfinch mob,
millet for the different sparrows,

feeds feral cats at an early hour
that eat and leave before

the birds drop down.
He and his wife go downtown

and step around old men drifting
like pigeons, begging for change.

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Pablo Neruda

If You Forget Me

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