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When you said your firewood

contained sunshine trapped for years

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then released

in a grateful rushing exuberant burst

for hours afterward I was still

absorbing the cold bright air, a piled-up feeling -

hearing as the wood must hear

traffic sounds, animal snufflings, church letting out.

I was the silver maple you'd split

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and saved, something for snow to fall on.

Moss grew on me as your footsteps hurried by.

I could not speak for the light aching in my throat.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society