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-- so we said to the somewhat: Be born --

      & the shadow kept arriving in segments,

    cold currents pushed minerals

  up from the sea floor, up through

coral & labels of Diet Coke blame shame

        bottles down there --

    it is so much work to appear!

unreadable zeroes drop lamps

      as mustard fields [Brassica rapa]

gold without hinges, a vital

      echo of caring ... On the census,

just write: it exists! Blue Wednesday

      bells strike the air like forks

    on a thrift store plate,

& the shadow moves off to the side ...

In the woods, loved ones tramp through

      the high grass; they wait in a circle

          for the fire to begin;

they throw paper dreams & sins upon

              the pyre & kiss, stocking the first

      hesitant flame after touching a match

to the bad news -- branches are thrust back

across myths before the flame catches --;

ravens lurch through double-knuckled

        pines & oaks & the otherwise;

a snake slithers over serpentine

then down to the first

      dark where every cry has size --

FOR EK & MS

Equinox Ritual with Ravens & Pines

Brenda Hillman

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