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Leaf Watching, for Landor

Milkweed tickling nose and ears,
this is November
a day or two after

the day of the dead.
Orange cap on head
so small-gamers

won't take me for prey,
more and more I give to joy,
my yearly narrowing,

ghosts around the fire,
fewer and fewer tourist cars,
birds seen and unseen,

shambles of crimson.
The leaves are falling,
torrid ghost money,

currency all wind,
or hanging, crepitating,
a loose change

as beautiful to lose
as ever it is to win,
blown away again, again.

William Olsen

Sand Theory
TriQuarterly Books / Northwestern University Press

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