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In the wind


If you walk the same path every day through the woods
clearing the way in your coming and going

you know when branches have fallen. Each branch downed
has a trace of the wind of descent vibrating through it.

In the time between coming and going,
in the rain of branches from the understory,

you can read the night, the wind, the lack of it,
what has happened back to happening.

The forest is sloughing dead to make room for the sun.
And you, bent there to gather branches,

have always been walking
the dark woods children hurry through

to get where they are going—
yet the forest is the coming and the going.

Lee Sharkey

Calendars of Fire
Tupelo Press


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