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Autumn's witness

The wind that ghosts in the hay ricks, twists in the stalks of corn, and wants to be believed in. The milk-and-pearl of evening, everywhere descending. The hills running round and firm down the valley - scored by electric lines and county roads, autumn-quilted, pine-starred. The hill clefts and crests - unscarred, undulant, sky border. The paper mill on the banks of the Connecticut, its stern white stacks smudging the evening, cursive in chalk gray. The moon like a birch leaf, frost-flecked, etiolate, falling in the wet October sky. A string of taillights like holly berries, winding along the Turnpike. All the people who drove west to be autumn's witness - driving home with napping children and fading red branches on their laps.

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