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One day it’s the red-twigged dogwoods
ringed by rag weed yellows and
chicory blues that clarify mind
and confirm insignificance.
Another day it’s the garter snake
whose crushed head reassures
and saddens, the long green body
pocked with purple checks
stretched out on the southbound lane,
the sheen of life still coats its skin,
its breath, now, of the expired world
where there is only awe.
Today, like Buddhas at sunset,
three sand hill cranes stand
on Billeau’s farm facing West,
enacting contrariness. Rusty
feathers hug their shoulders
like prayer robes,
as maples and ashes
ablaze in crimson and orange,
conduct cornstalk symphonies
in the dying autumn sun.
Against sunset’s gleam
it’s hard to tell, at first,
whether those cranes are deer
or birds or monks.
Their hunched silhouettes mark
the force of sun over meadow,
breeze over grass: a tyranny of calm
in this bloody, battle-fed, world.
Copyright 2016 Charles W. Brice. From Flashcuts Out Of Chaos by Charles W. Brice, published by WordTech.
Sand Hill Crane (photo: Stephen L. Tabone)