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Attending late flowers, I inhale
low pressure. Four o’clocks trumpet
their final purples and sumacs give
a sudden red beat before they cut
and bleed. Tall and brazen pink,
surprise lilies clamor in the wind
and lean east. They refuse the browning,
these flapping horns of recall.
And the children? The children stare.
They need to keep these lasts, these
lasts before maple, elm, sweet gum,
and oak, like old women who raise arms
against it all, who have forever raised
arms against it all, gray the skies and mute
the impudence of song, strangling grasps.
How I wish I could hate them all.
Copyright 2017 Billy Clem