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Wind, Fourth of July

ISSUE:  Summer 1987

Wind does one thing with clouds,
another with leaves;
the clouds go, go, go; the leaves
strain but they stay.

By the time the wind
can take the leaves
they’re shattered and yellow;
they whirl-a-whirl a while
but then sink,
they’re the ground’s.

As fast as the clouds leave,
fresh tribes arrive;
all of the wide sky’s strung
with their traveling.

You who once knew me,
you might think that that’s
where my heart was, high.
But these days I declare myself
on the side of the leaves,
which, for all that the wind

can tear at them,
stay with their trees;

though their shaking’s extreme,
though their staying’s wild.


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