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Autumn Sky

Horseradish root stings the air while

Aspen golden fire burns out the last of the blue in the sky.

Dense clouds mask the show of stars falling silently into the night.

Both feet are anchored to the cold paved ground.

I am looking up and all is still.

Waiting until an arrow soaked in sunlight sinks heavy like a stone into the sea.

Breaking the stillness. Hurtling deep into the gathering dark.

She asks me a question, so I open my mouth and let her choose the answer.

It is the one about the blue snakes, coiling up on an old sheet of parchment.

They are coming unraveled, they are rising up from the pages.

Poised to strike.

© Elizabeth McLaughlin


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