Dear Ones - along the marsh,

the cattails' plush unravels,

soft green sideways brushes

of grass that pointed

an impressionist path all summer

suddenly bristle, braiding back

to make spiraling tendrils

of seed head, big bluestems'

purple seed feet thicken,

loose pyramids of little bluestem

hang out small pairs of

yellow bells, indigo

rattles its black pods -

all, in the shortening

light, flowering, ripening,

seeding, flying - and the crickets'

voices, warning of cold.



Dear Ones - the asparagus grass raises

pagodas of stippled gold behind the arabic

script of indigo, stiff turkeyfoot uncurls

into the calligraphy of cursive scrolls,

and in the trailing, fading brown

of their leaves, light has taken up

residence - articulate, indecipherable

script printed over autumn's watermark

in the prairie's illuminated Book of Days.

And the prairie - made by hand, the paper

traced in ink of flame and ash.



Dear Ones - wind wakes me

at 3 a.m., brief gusts

bearing the explosive force

of winter storm, and in between

strange silence - neither snow

nor rain, but rattle of siding,

scrape of branch, light music

of a neighbor's wind chimes,

the creak of trees. Answering

rattle in the house as furnace

starts up, dry leaves loose

in the heating ducts. The cat

leaps to the windowsill and we

watch as the leafless crowns

of silver maples toss and sway,

the dark isosceles of arborvitae

bend and bow, the whole sky

astir - seeing how easily the trees

give themselves to the moving sea;

and then it is morning.

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