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by John Grey

The forest writes a poem a day,
or is it a last will and testament.
It wants to leave us, in winter,
with what it hasn’t got.
No, it gives us a month of lines,
of stuff about the thinness of the moon,
the ripened colors of the leaves,
the cackling witches
stirring up the sky.
But it’s an inheritance
in the desperation of its pen.
We are heirs to the fade of our faces,
the emptying of flesh,
the slow disintegration of bones.
Still, it reads like poetry:
the golden hair, the flushed rose face.
It’s the woman.
just enough chill in the air,
for your body’s warmth to roll
in like the tides.
the lust of all that ripening.
But then wind shakes down the moment.
Leaves shudder and fall.
And its last line screams,
“My God, you’ve killed her!”
No, the forest merely scratches out this note:
now there is nothing, you can have it.
The first snow flake trickles down
from some distant gloom.
The world is already a carcass.
Light watches the funeral through
a gray, gray veil.

Copyright © 2008 by John Grey

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