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Photograph: Father And Grandfather Fishing The Pier...

fishing for perch

I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,

If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.

You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,

But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,

And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,

Missing me one place search another,

I stop somewhere waiting for you.

- The conclusion of Song of Myself by Walt Whitman

Brian O'Neill served as Writer-in-Residence at the Madison State Hospital for 18 years. He also served on the editorial board of The Journal for Poetry Therapy and as the poetry editor of College English. His poetry has appeared in many journals including the Yale Review, American Scholar, and Partisan Review.

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