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by Mary Brunini McArdle

Goldenrod turns russet in the fall,
Retaining form without its flowers;
The burnished stalks keep watch
Along the roadway.

They withstand the winter’s frosts,
Bleaching out from lack of warmth
So that they look like straw.

Successive cold fronts
Bend them forward
Until the spring releases them —
Old men kneeling on prayer mats —

As if they’re worshipping the South,
Where in its vaulted dome
Resides the Southern Cross.

Copyright © 2006 by Mary Brunini McArdle

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