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( For Marian)
Crows cry louder
this morning, perched in the chill.
Their chant heard from a hunched tree.
The wind gathers leaves in her skirt,
her winter gust, and flings them toward the mountains.
They scatter like moths from a snuffed flame,
words from a breathless prayer
as a mourning dove lands
near the chimney waiting for something to rise.
And in the garden, rosebuds cushion the briar
with its prick of spare thorns.
My shadow stretches across the lawn --
a thin swath of ice
the sun and sorrow will thaw.