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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 3, September 2015

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Mary Frederick Ahearn
Pottstown, Pennsylvania, USA


Old Snag

Hourly the eye of the sky enlarges its blank Dominion. The stars are no nearer.

                                                                      —Sylvia Plath, The Colossus and Other Poems

Summer's gone. The windows are fastened tightly now so you can't hear the rain unless it's heavy, wind-blown, and lashing against the panes. Looking out on this dreich day, you can still see it through the wavy, blurred glass—the old sassafras snag. It's covered by its companion, a Virginia Creeper vine glowing scarlet against the rain-gray sky. Years ago, when the sassafras had leaves, mitten-shaped for gnomes' hands, they also glowed, their color a fiery orange and red against the autumn sky. Years ago.

By next spring, the snag will be gone. It's to be cut down soon, before the snows come. Next year's wrens must take their fledglings elsewhere to rest and to sing their songs.

new songs
sung in old lands,
in other seasons . . .
behind the silvered leaves,
the voice of the rain

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