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SMALL TOWN FALL
 

The sun is hard edged, crisp 
and cool as a kiss on the porch 
at daybreak. The restless 
leaves are crayon smudges, 
emerald, sepia, and burnt orange.

An octogenarian 
visits her son on the plains. 
Though her heart of necessity 
frets her unsteady body, 
it stays upright in the right places.

Her son writes comforting news 
for the future when she's gone, 
recreating his creator 
who declining recreates, 
so sweet nothings will continue.

He sees himself as an outlaw 
clinking down Main 
and into a bar to withdraw, 
but comes a freeze, he takes in plants, 
geraniums, chives, and basil.

Now starlings have massed in the trees, 
and speckled black bodies, 
every one of hundreds, 
merge with unimaginable 
chatter, into a consummate scream.

Everything's a labor of love, 
four children and a map drawn up, 
a lesson refreshingly taught 
and days wasted in thought 
like a cat in the sun on the porch.
 


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