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Poem of the Month - September 2002
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Death Seated
from Scissor, Paper, Woman

Wheezing Leave your wash on the line to wave
harmless flags for the tiny republic
underground nations of the domestic

he beckons her to a folding chair
under lilac fading behind the house

And Pity blames You never come
when the petal-fall of the crab was snow
when lilies bent in wilting folds
when poppies bled in breathless heat
and phlox gave up its heady scent...

till those staunch mums you praise in print
at last succumbed
and snow itself banked every bed
I watched alone

She had always known he haunted her yard
with his vegetal smile of faint reproval
and often before had glimpsed his back

but today in the rustling shade she sits
for the first time after illness calm
close enough to hear him speak
to feel the gust of his windy laugh

for the first time close enough to sense
innocent leaf-smoke on his breath

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