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Renga 2

Late afternoon the lull of crickets around the house - mid-September's falling apples too! Slant sun stews the bruised fruit, the wilted roses: memory wine. Whose garden was this? Standing on my shoulders my son shakes the top branches bringing down the ripest fruit. Ten plums. Ten pits. When night falls a handful at a time, I stand in the hallway, lights out, and listen to his breathing. Outside the crows caw through the dead harvest of leaves, through the silence of snow covering grief. My son recites the prayers, lights the candles. In the dark windows, row upon row of fluttering lights. By morning the orange wax drips: a thousand birds on the wing their religion, flight. Waking early in a peach grove I hike back to the interstate. Across a cold sky, the residue of dreams. Thumb out. Luck leads. I wait. Sun on my shoulders I bite into the peach, Let the sweet juices ride.

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