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Family Man

ISSUE:  Winter 2007

I stop beyond the pasture
in the dark crease
between hills
that rise so steeply
that the only
light left is in
the tops of trees.

I stop where the snow
I have to stomp through
not to slip on
will not break,
bracing myself
against rough bark
to keep from falling,

while over me
where the light is
there is wind
I can’t feel,
that can’t reach me,
the highest branches
pitching the last leaves

down through the shadowy
blue and bluer
stillness which
they deepen somehow
by disturbing.
Even my breath,
as I breathe it,

seems to freeze
in the angelic
shape of its release.
And so, dear ones,
when I hear my name
come over the field
behind me where

the day is,
out of the alien
day, keen-scented,
loyal, determined
not to leave
without its prey,

forgive me if
I let myself,
just now, be something
no name could find.
I am cold
and numb, and it is
sweet to be so.


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