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No snow. A little fog. The afternoon
is a few short hours and evening falls.
But look how the sun hangs down
its old rope, good for one more pull.
Look at the latticework of leaves
in the stricken ash, golden in the gray,
like coins in a purse or notes from some old hymn.
I hope my friends are warm this day.
I hope the ones I love, will always love—
the one gone far away, the two sweet
souls holding hands near the end,
humming through a feverish night,
the ones whose needs I cannot guess
or have no needs this lucky day
on earth—I hope for them, for all of us,
a little peace, a touch of ease, another day
come round with steady light. So quiet now.
So still. A flake of snow, then two.
I hope you hear a bell from far away
begin to peal. This bell I pull for you.
Copyright 2022 David Baker.
David Baker’s many books include Whale Fall (Norton, 2022). He holds the Thomas B. Fordham Chair at Denison University, in Granville, Ohio, and is Poetry Editor of “The Kenyon Review.”