Featured Poem: Holding Our Own

By Ann Stanford

A summer without passion
our selves pulled together
like the leaves surrounding the branches
each branch part of the tree
the tree round, holding its own in the air.

The music begins
round globes of sound
weld it together
it balloons in the night
circles the amphitheater
whole and separate
as the star that winks at the proceeding.
And we in our own atmosphere—
the bear in the globe
of a child’s toy
shaken, a blizzard
encloses him
inside the water in the ball.
Each walking in our round of air
through the long summer
without anger, without joy, with no surprise.
Now in August the leaves begin to turn
walnuts—black globes—rattle the eaves.
When the leaves burn to yellow
and brambles conquer the garden
one day comes a clear draft from the north
and the sky goes blue once more.
We smell the cool pain of autumn
in the green chemical light
waiting for waking
to shake us—birds in the cat’s mouth—
or fall back numb again
among the chill, murdered, murdering leaves.
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