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November

why would I say this morning started grey
and opened up in a little window of sunlight
in which we walked along the clifftops
seeing the bright yellow grasses by the shore

and afterward the raindrops hit the window
and the intense fall colours turned to the rich mush
of November and heaven rolled its eyes and wept
that we’d run through another hour, day, summer

and what to show of it? fall blossoms still in a vase
because it seemed they might be dried for winter
and sit on there to say death is as good as life
still with shape, kind, variety; burnt umber,

a dark wash of Payne’s grey, sienna blending all
that had shone out in the blink of the sun’s eye,
flickering yellow day, black night; summer fallen
to stick on November, time on a quick hike 

caught on a snag, wet down, composting, challenging
us to bring home the flower, the sound of wind
against the line of spruce, translate these presences
into what could be something in their absences

—Judy Gaudet from Conversation with Crows, Oberon, 2014. Another book is Her Teeth Are Stones, Acorn Press.

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