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I halfway thought the wind would still be in them,
but the little coppery chimes were full instead
of spider sacs and dauber mud, gray-red
from the airs of abandoned years and hard as a gem.

I scraped them out with a skewer and washed the rims
of silk and dirt and with a toothpick and thread
restrung the tubes and tacked them to the head
with my smallest hammer, a tool so gracile and slim

in the hand it hardly feels like a tool, more
like one of the chimes. But it worked; lovely things
can do heavy things, like fix the voice of the wind,

if that’s the lesson here, though I’m not sure
there’s a lesson so much as just a pair of hands
doing something small, so something else might sing.

Nathaniel Perry

Nathaniel Perry is the author of two books of poetry, Nine Acres (APR/Copper Canyon, 2011) and Long Rules (Backwaters, 2021).  He teaches at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.